Yakov Azriel | Shadow in the Closet

We’re delighted to present Shadow in the Closet by Yakov Azriel, selected by series editor Steve Bellin-Oka as Number 28 in our Robin Becker Series.

Cover image by Shanti Golden.

Publication:  April 21, 2023 [100 copies]
39 pages
ISBN 978-1-949333-97-9
$ 12.00

Yakov Azriel was born in New York. He is the author of five books of poetry in the USA: Threads from a Coat of Many Colors, In the Shadow of a Burning Bush, Beads for the Messiah’s Bride, and Swimming in Moses’ Well (all from Time Being Books), and Closet Sonnets: The Life of G.S. Crown (Sheep Meadow Press).


Shadow in the Closet, when you can’t fall
asleep what do you do? Do you begin
to count sheep? goats? cats? dogs? Or shadows in
the closet, shadows from your dreams: some tall,
some rather short, some shadows whom you call
by name, some shadows with no name, some thin,
some not, some whose skin is dark, some whose skin
is fair, some who grow a beard—count them all.

When you can’t fall asleep what do you do?
For counting shadows in the dark is hard,
as difficult to do as trying to
pick up sharp shards of broken dreams and glue
them back together, shard by shard by shard;
as difficult as knowing what is true.