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Silver Spice Box

By Jewish Arts Collaborative

Published Dec 28, 2022


Silver Spice Box

I open the door

to fill your tiny chamber

with whole cloves


the besamim

perfume my fingers


Here is the border

between rest

and what follows


The filigree


the everyday


This silver spire

rests in my palms,

consoles me


The spice box is a tower

guarding the city


Tower of oncoming

night, held

by my ancestors,

handed to me





Written: June 13, 2022


JArts’ mission is to curate, celebrate, and build community around the diverse world of Jewish arts, culture, and creative expression. Our vision is of a more connected, engaged, and tolerant world inspired by Jewish arts and culture.


Portraying ritual

Click here to view spice towers in the MFA Boston collection (on which this poem is based). How does the poem portray interaction with these objects? How would you feel, if you were the poet, if you were able to touch and hold these ritual items in the museum's collection?


Click here to explore Judaica items on Kolture. Write your own poem about one of these objects.

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