'Amidah, Study 3' by Jim Davis-Rosenthal
Amidah, Study 3, Jim Davis-Rosenthal, 1999.



Natalie Sudman


The day is slow as beadwork. Women sit in scruffy shade of
trees thrifty enough to kill off most of their own limbs.
Ruthless is the mental construct of a rushed intellect.
Cruel is married to beauty. To the south is sand. Only

Between the women palms are face up, dangling off brown
arms. Sweat would cool them if it could, but air here is
greedy. Air snaps up that sweat.

At dawn shallow tracks of beetles and lizards, flies and
lions threw shadow. Shadow paths tricked sand surface into
maps forty miles wide and undulating on waves of silica
particles, obsidian particles. The height of life stood
within four millimeters of the thin plane of earth surface.
The wide arc of a dune, the steep face to wind’s lee
appeared as high drama at dawn. Sun hurried up the sky,
climbing high in order to flatten out those dunes. And wind
shaved displaced particles of sand, plowed them off, shoved
them into hollows to erase track maps.

Lizards are burrowed in, cool, breathing through sand. Cats
and snakes are undercover. Flies hover in spare shade,
humming, humming. The women sit still, listening. They
wait, hot and with dry skin taut, too quiet to talk.







Text © 1996, 1999 by Natalie Sudman
"Beadwork" first appeared in Many Mountains Moving, Volume II, Number 2. The work appears here by permission of the author.

Original Graphic Image, "Amidah, Study 3" © 1999 by Jim Davis-Rosenthal

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