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Dead Sea Mineral Spring

Heavy brown-shouldered ridges look down
on the blue still surface of the lake
its salts a bitter concentrate of a nations tears
flowing from waters of past sorrow in the north
from wave upon wave of conquest
from two temples sacked and looted
from inquisition pogrom and gas chamber
from bloodless teeth ripped from
mounds of skulls for their gold fillings
all flowing down to this quiet bed where
tears gather in the lowest place on earth


Today we relax in a healing sulfur pool
close by the blue still surface of the lake
float on our backs in blood warm baths
and eye two scanty nymphs from Germany
smearing each other with mud and giggles

We watch them with mixed feelings
munch our grapes and figs, sweat of revival
the sulfur heals, its oily thickness holds us up

permits us not to drown in brine or tears

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© Johnmichael Simon



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