We cram into one cage stiff as Barilla in a box
as elevator door closes a giraffe-neck tall man backs in blocks mini-me bringing us eye-to-butt
my monkey mind unleashes:
god forbid he farts!
I sidestep left two women jabber in histrionic Hebrew saying
ma pitom (no way), iefshar (impossible), lo yuman (unreal)—context MIA—at floor 4, they exit
like melting butter
god forbid a siren howls: its unwelcome, unnerving, eardrum-perforating, up-down-up-down, like a wolf in heat or on the hunt, only day 2 of a centuries-old struggle
Hamas lobs M-75s
Israel sends F-16Cs
Israel sends F-16Ds
Hamas lobs J-80s
monkey mind curses kid on cellphone, zapping excessive radioactive rays but seriously god forbid god better forbid god fucking better forbid: the situation— ha-matsav a Hebrew euphemism for political shitshow as we climb upward, monkey mind resurges god forbid a rocket strikes this 16-story tower
grisly, un-see-able images flicker of Manhattan 9-11 of bodies out windows, of bodies in freefall, of bodies in frantic motion, of bodies midair, of bodies raining down with nothing to stop them, to save them, definitely not god
monkey hits manic low
if I don’t believe in god
god forbid means nothing
at floor 7, doors open: my stop, full stop. STOP!
Jennifer Lang’s flash has appeared in the Maine Review, Atticus Review, CHEAP POP, Miracle Monocle, Pithead Chapel, Gravel, and on Brevity’s One-Minute Memoir. “Repeat the Enchanting” won first place in Midway Journal’s flash contest 2020. A four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, she holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and serves as Assistant Editor for Brevity. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she lives in Tel Aviv, where she runs Israel Writers Studio and attempts to write her first memoir.