The Book of Voices

Biblical Microfictions by Joseph Zitt


(Context: Genesis 27:1)

I sit. I sit and I listen. This is my life. Sometimes I move. Sometimes I am moved to action. Frenzies may surround me. Change may erupt around me. Emotions may disrupt my family. I choose to be the still center. I sit.

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July 27, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


(Context: Jeremiah 20:7)

Voices, hands, the shuffling of feet and the scent of people are guiding me as I move along these halls. I see so much that I am blind. I look at an almond branch and see the word of the Lord written in flame. I look at a boiling pot and see a cloud of evil swarming toward us from the north.

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July 21, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments


(Context: Genesis 35:29)

Through the years, this landscape has grown familiar. To the north, a ladder rises without visible support. A host of men with hidden, glowing faces climb and descend, moving past and sometimes through each other as they travel to and from what must be the heavens. In what should be the ladder’s shadow, a man without a name waits in a circle of blinding light, in wrestling garb, always prepared for battle. The moon is always three-quarters full, shining through a gap in clouds that never block the stars. Constellations spell new signs each night. A rainbow, full and bright against the darkness, arcs out to the caves below them. Where the colors meet the sand before the caves, my sons await.

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July 14, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


(Context: 2 Samuel 13:21)

The palace now is quiet. All my wives and daughters have gone off now, after a dinner where they all glared at me in sullen silence, saying the very least that they could without actively incurring my wrath, the wrath of the king. My sons have retreated to their houses, all feeling unwell after perhaps too boisterous a meal. All except Absalom: he joined the women in their silence, the whole time seated with his back to his half-brother, Amnon, the whole time keeping his sister, my youngest daughter, Tamar, carefully in his gentle gaze. Tamar, my tiny, beautiful, wounded Tamar, sat perfectly upright, staring straight ahead, silent as stone. Jonathan, you never would have guessed yesterday from her fragile poise, the sweetness of her smile (which none saw today and which we might never see again) and the clarity of her voice when we would hear her singing, laughing, and playing in the palace halls, how her screams, as she stumbled outside last night, would shake all who heard them and would reveal the cracks in this family, this royal house.

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July 6, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment