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Dead Sea Alive
by Maja Trochimczyk

                On seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibition
                at San Diego’s Balboa Park, January 4, 2008

An archipelago of broken words
a mosaic of ill-fitting pieces

Torn ribbons with angelic voices
coded by crooked signs

Scholars decipher, assemble patterns
the dust of ages obscures the meaning

Here – “Blow your trumpets,
slay the guilty”

There – “He heals the badly wounded,
makes the dead live”

I see “YHWH” – four letters in an ancient script
I hear – “Halleluiah!”

After two thousand years,
two hundred days and two hours

I offer a sacrifice
of my mind to the eternal presence

The angels are here with us
hovering on iridescent wings

Just above red boxes with fire blankets
just beyond a row of glass screens

With miniature shreds
of holiness inside


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