Charles Harper Webb
Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, Carmi, Jemuel, Ohad, Zohar, Shuni: one Genesis mention's all you got. Ziphion, Muppim, Arodi: lost in a list even the most devout skip over like small towns on the road to L.A. How tall were you, Shillim? What was your favorite color, Ard? Did you love your wife, Iob? Not even her name survives. Adam, Eve, Abel, Cain- these are the stars crowds surge to see. Each hour thousands of Josephs, Jacobs, Benjamins are born. How many Oholibamahs? How many Mizzahs draw first breath today? Gatam, Kenaz, Reuel? Sidemen in the band. Waiters who bring the Perignon and disappear. Yet they loved dawn's garnet light as much as Moses did. They drank wine with as much delight. I thought my life would line me up with Samuel, Isaac, Joshua. Instead I stand with Basemath, Hoglah, Ammihud. Theirs are the names I honor; theirs, the deaths I feel, their children's tears loud as any on the corpse of Abraham, their smiles as missed, the earth as desolate without them: Pebbles on a hill. Crumbs carried off by ants. Jeush. Dishan. Nahath. Shammah.
(University of Wisconsin Press)