Fragments from a Nonexistent Yiddish Poet
Ida Lewin (1906–1938)
I’ve heard that Polish wives cook beets into a broth that bleeds, as though from hemorrhage. They fill white bowls with dumplings pressed into the shape of shrunken ears, their thumbs molding pastry to look like lobe and auricle. Awful, to hear one’s own devouring before it comes. Consider ears. They know the scrape that metal makes inside the bowl— pale cochleae, so vulnerable they float across the soup, poor things, that cannot seal themselves against the sound but roll, ears swirling past a spoon. I wonder at this meal for cannibals. With such an audience below, who wouldn’t lose the taste for dough?