A Literary Magazine in Support of the Jewish Community

Back to Issue Eleven


"Diaspora" by Jared Beloff


My aunt hands me a photograph at shiva:

twenty-three people stand in lines.


Several boys kneel in front, chests puffed,

their heads shaved. The girls are on chairs


brought outside for the portrait. They sit

in front of a brick wall. No one is looking


in the same direction. A girl stares with her fist

against her cheek. Another boy daydreams


of walking down a road, to the forest

near the river. There is a space where wind


sounds like a secret. In the back, an old man

doesn’t move behind a graying beard. His eyes


stretch to the tree line, searching for the boy.

Perhaps these are the two who survived


the procession out of town to the ravine

and the men with guns. What are their names?


She does not know. How many bullets

make a minyan? The tree she draws for me


later is a straight line from Berezdov to New Jersey,

roots spreading through layers of soil like a hand


that takes hold or is forced to let go.

Jared Beloff

Jared Beloff is the author of Who Will Cradle Your Head (ELJ Editions, 2023). He is the editor of the Marvel inspired poetry anthology, Marvelous Verses (Daily Drunk, 2021) and has been a peer-reviewer for Whale Road Review since 2021. His work can be found at Night Heron Barks, Baltimore Review, River Mouth Review, The Shore, Contrary Magazine, and elsewhere. You can find him on Twitter @Read_Instead and his website www.jaredbeloff.com. He is a teacher who lives in Queens, NY with his wife and two daughters.



Jared Beloff