The Chiliasts are praying
for the utter destruction of the interlopers
upon whom all curses rail
as they have been all along
only now they pray then they arm.

We are counting the days until
the destruction.

The secret ascent hidden in the descent
cockeyed optimism of the Kabbalist
who believes the redeemer will be born
on the saddest day of the year.

We have miracle stories to tell:
miracles are happening at every moment, he says.

The Africans here say:
God has brought us home
God will protect us.

Uncle walked across Ethiopia
then the Sudan to arrive here —
he shows a hole in the wall of his office
where a Katyusha hit minutes after he left it.
God must love me, he says —

And in one of the nicest northern towns
this side of the mountain, lower montane —
see that guy bowed in the sun in Chassidic black?
He used to be the stage designer for Frank Zappa.

jsg, usa