A Literary Magazine in Support of the Jewish Community

Back to Issue Six


"Hineini" by Valerie Sopher


Isaiah breaks off a spiky limb

of the aloe vera plant

growing in his backyard.


He splits open the thick spine,

scoops out the sticky flesh

and rubs it gently across his charred lips.


Charcoal dust the shade of

the smoke-filled sky colors the corners

of his mouth into a permanent O Adonai.


Isaiah rubs aloe over his eyes

to soften the vision of the six-winged

seraphim that haunts him.


He brushes feathers out of his beard.

Renewed, he prepares himself

to prophesy, again and again.

Valerie Sopher

Valerie Sopher is grateful to Canary, Caustic Frolic, Slant Poetry, Orchard Street Press (Finalist, Quiet Diamonds Poetry Contest 2022), Science Write Now and Wingless Dreamer (contest winner), among others, for publishing her work and to the Ina Coolbrith Circle Annual Poetry Contest for honors bestowed. Her first chapbook, Day for Night, published by Orchard Street Press, is forthcoming. She is a singing quilter who loves anything to do with paper, pens and words. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.



Valerie Sopher