Helpline

I covet my neighbour's ox.
So I phone my rabbi
who says it's more normal
to desire
one's neighbour's wife.

I take stock.

This may be a dream.
Or perhaps not.
So I break the ox's glasses,
dig an ox-shaped hole in the garden
and later eat it medium rare
except for its tail
which I make into soup
and its head which I hide
in my neighbour's bed.

I take stock.

This may be a dream.
Or perhaps not.
So I wash my hands,
make a blessing
and stroll home;
en route I see a red heifer
clashing with a golden calf
on a yellow brick road.

I take stock.

This may be a dream.
Or perhaps not.
So I phone my rabbi
who invites me to discuss the matter
before a saged audience
of Talmudic statesmen
and the heads of ten
Ivy League
Yeshivot.

I take stock.

This may be a dream.
Or perhaps not.
So I gather my thoughts
and some socks
and fly to Minsk
where I'm to speak from the dock
once my rabbi's scrolled down
the biblical don'ts of bovine envy.
But I've forgotten
everything I knew.
So I just say moo
and escape
through scholarly confusion
to a cloakroom
with eighty long black coats
and one green anorak.

I take stock.

This may be a dream.
Or perhaps not.
So I go home to bed
but I can't sleep
as my neighbour's wailing
before a photo of his ox
taped to his wall.
I go to complain
but can't find my glasses
and fall down
a me-shaped hole
in my garden.

I take stock.

This may be a dream.
Or perhaps not.
So I call the rabbi
on my mobile
and say  I'm in a hole
He says not you again,
it's three am.
I say rabbi just tell me -
is this is a dream?

My rabbi takes stock.

He says this may be a dream.
Or then again
perhaps not.


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