I’ll pour salt in a swim­ming pool if you told me you loved the ocean 

Uncap­ping bot­tle after bot­tle of kosher salt and watch­ing as it forms a milky hill, and then dissolves.

I’d take you to the Dead Sea if you told me you only liked the salt 

Yes the sea is dead but we would be alive as we’d ever been 

we’d walk bare­foot through the Negev, I would clasp your hand so you would not float away again.

Or we can just go to Brighton beach. 

We’d spot the ocean through the gaps in the apart­ment hous­es on the Q line. 

You remem­ber the old coun­try right? 

It’s just like that.

We always said some­thing seemed off. 

Like you were from anoth­er time or place. 

Maybe it was the wire glasses. 

Or the way you smiled at the world like you’ve seen a lot, but nev­er this. 

If it was the water you missed, I’d bring back the children. 

I would hand them a hose and tin mugs, red and blue 

with white specks like the stars I don’t see in the city. 

I’d tell them to go to town, and you would run from them with water splash­ing out of your sandals. 

You were my heat­wave crush, my shad­ed wood­land love, ice water of my heart, salt of my memory

This piece is a part of the Berru Poet­ry Series, which sup­ports Jew­ish poet­ry and poets on PB Dai­ly. JBC also awards the Berru Poet­ry Award in mem­o­ry of Ruth and Bernie Wein­flash as a part of the Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards. Click here to see the 2020 win­ner of the prize. If you’re inter­est­ed in par­tic­i­pat­ing in the series, please check out the guide­lines here.