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Jean Nordhaus

A Purchase of Porcelain

Because the king
decrees that every Jew
must buy his wedding-right
in unsold porcelain
from the royal chinaworks,

here he stands, an amorous Jew,
gazing at luminous
suns and moons arrayed
on doths of velvet-blue,
earth that has married fire twice,

that has been shaped and named
for what it comprehends: sherbets, salads,
gravies, desserts. He lifts a platter fine
as alabaster in cathedral windows:
salvation, the passage of light

through bone. Ah, but
not for you, the store-man says.

[...] Read more

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