At the Rebbe’s Daughter’s Wedding

To the tin horn’s rollick, the bride
Trots across the stage, a pony on a string.

Kalah Na’eh va’Chasudah,
Righteous and beautiful one,

White thread parting the black sea.

Old men with graying eyes stuff dollars
Pinned to prayers into the Rebbe’s coat.

May you live to see your grandchild’s beard.

Kissing the groom’s rough cheek,
Samuel Iskowitz bites the end off a cigarette

Then hums a gentle niggun, the room
Riots. Stamping feet. The broken glass.

One thousand strong.
A ceiling fan putters from the rafters, smoked

Fish heads sweat beneath its cheap florescent.
Plates full of tomatoes, pickled-tongue and rye.

You may kiss the Rebbe’s napkin
After it graces his lips. Good luck for a year.

Children, who suck on hard candy, leaf
Through yellow-paper song books.

Wild-eyed men pull at each other’s
Shirts, slug shots of potato vodka

Then dance on the tips of chandeliers.