were pressed together into that slit of forced silence which Mothers shrieks and slaps had taught him. Graying stubble softened his cheeks, and where they looped edited volume of critical essays inward, added a shadowing of sagely age to his face. The acid in the urine ate at certain elements to create varying colors, particularly a fine rose when mixed with Brazil wood, alum and ceruse, and a brilliant carmine when mixed with the ashes of vine branches and quicklime. A fleeting premonition, unusual in its certainty, shook me: We Jews of Lisbon have waited too long to re-enact the Exodus, and Pharaoh has learned of our escape plans. The mirror was somewhat famous locally because on the sixth of June of thirteen ninety-one of the Christian era, it was said to have seeped blood at the death of tens of thousands of Jews killed in the riots then raging across Iberia.
One such secret Jew was Berekiah Zarco, the narrator. Shes brought fabric for another dress. Sensing my presence, he ceased his melody, turned with a smile of welcome and shuffled closer to me with the duck-like walk he normally only adopted in synagogues. Since the forced closure of our synagogue in the Old Christian year of fourteen ninety-seven, this had become our temple. So bright became his form that essay in passive voice vs in active voice my eyes began to tear.