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Making Israeli Salad

Making Israeli Salad

Making Israeli Salad

by Karen Webber

Now that the Israeli has left, it falls
on me to make the salad.
Garlic kisses slip from their skins,
bruised and smashed.
Tomatoes ready to burst, bleed
ruby juice onto the cutting board.

Never sweet onion, only the crying kind.
Cucumber and green pepper complete the triage.
If the knife isn’t sharp, get another.
Cut me smaller, dice me
to disappearing.

No note,
No tearful goodbye,
only a yellow pepper on the counter.

Chip and cube so fine, that the salt
clings for dear life.
What about the lettuce?
No, not for Israeli salad…
What about the Chuppah,
and the boy and the girl we made?

I improvise making Israeli salad—
no recipe—just handfuls of color and
an obscene amount of salt.

“You’ll know when I’m done with you.”

Can scallions substitute for onion?
I can’t stop shaking the salt.
I feel myself floating in the Dead Sea.
Long squeeze of lemon mingles with oil,
stinging my cuticles
Dai, enough already, the pieces are small enough.

Karen Webber is a teaching, performing and liturgical artist whose music/theatre pieces are performed in senior centers, college classrooms and on the bimah. A CPRS, Certified Peer Support Specialist in the state of Maryland since 2021, she serves as a peer facilitator and instructor with The Mental Health Association of Maryland. Her writing can be found in The Torrid Literature Journal, Poetica, Lilith Magazine, and the Jewish Poetry Project among others. She is especially proud of her inclusion in Prophetic Voices: a HafTorah commentary newly published by the CCAR Press.