Life in the Murder Cities — A poem for Torah Portion Vaetchanan

July 22, 2021

Then Moses decided to separate three cities on the side of the Jordan towards the sunrise, so that a murderer might flee there, he who murders his fellow man unintentionally, but did not hate him in time past, that he may flee to one of these cities, so that he might live
     Deuteronomy 4:41-42

This is where they got the idea
for Australia.
This is what happened before they invented
the word manslaughter.
This is for when you make a mistake and
there must be consequences.
This is where the rich white collar
criminals go.
This is for all is not forgiven but we understand
     there were circumstances.
This is all to be set up before anyone
crosses the river.
This is to let you know that not everyone
will be crossing the river.
This is, wait there are three cities? How many
people are accidentally murdering
other people?
This is for will they have their own separate
sports leagues?
This is for future youth fields trips to
the murder cities.
This is for hi, we’re Bill and Susan Murderer
     We moved in next door.
     It’s so nice to meet you.
This is for no one is better than anyone else
in the murder cities.
This is for why can’t we be equal like the people
     in the murder cities?
This for let’s have brunch in the murder city.
     I recommend the manslaughter omelet.
This for I’m glad I don’t live there but the music
at nights in the murder cities
it’s like nowhere else.
This is for I hear they elected Cain mayor
This is for are there separate cities for robbers?
How about Jaywalkers?
This is for I guess we’ll defund the police since
all the criminals live on the
other side of the river.

God Wrestler: a poem for every Torah Portion by Rick LupertLos Angeles poet Rick Lupert created the Poetry Super Highway (an online publication and resource for poets), and hosted the Cobalt Cafe weekly poetry reading for almost 21 years. He’s authored 25 collections of poetry, including “God Wrestler: A Poem for Every Torah Portion“, “I’m a Jew, Are You” (Jewish themed poems) and “Feeding Holy Cats” (Poetry written while a staff member on the first Birthright Israel trip), and most recently “The Tokyo-Van Nuys Express” (Poems written in Japan – Ain’t Got No Press, August 2020) and edited the anthologies “Ekphrastia Gone Wild”, “A Poet’s Haggadah”, and “The Night Goes on All Night.” He writes the daily web comic “Cat and Banana” with fellow Los Angeles poet Brendan Constantine. He’s widely published and reads his poetry wherever they let him.

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