The Great Synagogue of Constanta

       Amid the forsaken sanctuary grows a tree
       green and lanky, tilting with the wind
       ever since the roof partially collapsed.
       Standing sentinel is the yellow fleurette
       Star of David overseeing the amassed debris
       below, a congeries of chipped cement,
       smashed stained glass, plaster, and wood beams,
       ruins overgrown with shrubs, carpeted with dirt.
       Arched colonnades uplifted by blue pillars
       attest to the Moorish Revival design
       of a halidom once admired by Ashkenazim
       from near and far keen on the sublime;
       now only mean dogs frequent the detritus,
       foraging for kosher remnants of another sort.
       Where now there lies a rubble heap
       once stood a palace aglow with worship;
       where filth now strews the floor
       once stood congregants before the upraised scroll,
       devotees enthroning on their praise the Most High.
       The building is the body but the assembly
       is the soul; bereft of its sacred entrails,
       the desacralized shell succumbs to the elements,
       a bittersweet vestige verging on demise,
       its hallowed scenes enshrined in memory.

Brandon Marlon is a writer from Ottawa, Canada. He received his B.A. in Drama & English from the University of Toronto and his M.A. in English from the University of Victoria. His poetry was awarded the Harry Hoyt Lacey Prize in Poetry (Fall 2015), and his writing has been published in 100+ publications in over twenty countries. WEB