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Son of Amittai

Caleb Horowitz

February 26, 2024

“Are you so deeply grieved?”

—G-d, to Jonah


Exodus 1. /Rosabel Rosalind/ 

Son of Amittai

The first ant appears on a tangled arm hair, pinched out

of life between thumb and forefinger like a wick of flame, and

in the morning, the bedsheets are dotted with black pinprick travelers.

The ant trap on the windowsill is like a tiny synagogue,

congregants coming and going.


And when I weep into the throw pillow after a disastrous

night of speed-dating, G—d says, “If you were a prophet, you would be Jonah.”

He means it as an insult.


I remind G—d of the story of the oven of Akhnai: “Remember

that time the rabbis ignored you and threw out your opinion entirely?”

But G—d is only amused; things roll

off His back these days.


The ants in death are curled slightly over themselves. 

Slumped exoskeletons: I count a minyan of them.

And the G—d who leveled cities with His gaze

grows quiet.

“You once drowned your own creation,” I tell Him.

He says, “Those were different times. 

I was young.”

Caleb Horowitz

Caleb Horowitz is a teacher, poet, academic, and penguin enthusiast living in Durham, North Carolina. In his free time, he writes analytical articles about pop culture representations of Jewishness and plays old Nintendo games. He is working on a book of poetry about Jonah and Moby-Dick. You can find more of Horowitz's writing in Verklempt! and Hey Alma.

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