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Zaltz Vasser (Saltwater), or My Great Great Grandfather Landed on Yesler and Never Left This Street

He sailed alone at 17
from the shtetl
to Seattle.
Those weeks on the water
he took hope in his mouth,
gnawed it down
into ambition.
He never went back.
Generations
of threads snapped off
between the tailor’s teeth—
yet when we dream
the taste of cloth
stains our tongues.

Zaltz Vasser (Saltwater), or My Great Great Grandfather Landed on Yesler and Never Left This Street

He sailed alone at 17
from the shtetl
to Seattle.
Those weeks on the water
he took hope in his mouth,
gnawed it down
into ambition.
He never went back.
Generations
of threads snapped off
between the tailor’s teeth—
yet when we dream
the taste of cloth
stains our tongues.

Rachel Kessler, Seattle

 
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