Sometimes your prayer rises up and turns to smoke. Sometimes a prayer asks too much. Sometimes you offer a prayer for the undeserving but there must be punishment. Even so the smoke continues to rise. It ascends and ascends to heaven. In heaven when they inhale they smell your smoke, your prayer. It reminds them that down on earth, where the fire is, even the wicked can be loved.


Abe Mezrich is the author of three books of poetry on the Hebrew Bible: The House at the Center of the WorldBetween the Mountain and the Land Lies the Lesson, and the forthcoming Words for a Dazzling Firmament, all from Ben Yehuda Press. Learn more at