Las vegas hotel

At the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino

There are flamingos
in the habitat of flamingos
at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino—
eight pink birds,
each balancing
on a twig-like leg.

And there is
some full length mirrors
tied to trees
in the Flamingo habitat,
than flamingos
watch attentively.

I ask the guard,
who is aggressive
hunt ducks
and feed the fish and other birds,
why there are full length mirrors
in the Flamingo habitat.

She explains that flamingos
like to see other flamingos
around them,
and that four of the eight flamingos
have been temporarily removed
for medical care,
mirrors have been placed in the habitat
in their place.

And my first thought
it’s that flamingos are like jews,
sharing in common
this absolute need
to be surrounded by theirs.
It’s been months
when i didn’t
at the synagogue or at Sabbath meals
in Rhode Island,
but as soon as i leave
to a new city or a new country,
I have to look for Jews there.

But on reflection,
flamingos are not like jews.
For flamingos don’t spend
all their time
look in the mirrors.
They look around.
You only learn so much
looking at himself in the mirror.
Most American Jews Know Nothing
on the Jews of Israel.
Most Reform Jews Know Nothing
on national-religious Jews.
Most Conservative Jews Know Nothing
on haredi The Jews.
As noted by S. Ansky,
“There is no other people who can speak so much of themselves
and yet knows himself so little as the Jews.
A few episodes of Fauda and Shtisel
don’t change that,
eat hummus or herring either.

An earlier version of the poem “At the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino” appeared in JewThink. See here for more poems and stories by Shai Afsai.


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