‘Last’: a poem by Ali Lewis




In the religion of my dad
one story
is that a temple lamp lasts

not forever but just a little
longer than could reasonably
be asked

I watch him cover his head
with his hand
try to dredge up the words

from his school-prize siddur
I feel the irony of him
giving ritual thanks

for this efficient miracle
this humble light
giving more than it has

far longer
than even the faithful
have any right to demand


Ali Lewis

About Ali Lewis

Ali Lewis is the author of 'Hotel' (Verve, 2020), which won an Eric Gregory Award in 2018. His poems have appeared in The London Magazine, The Poetry Review, Ambit, Prototype and elsewhere. He’s associate editor of Poetry London and a Northern Bridge doctoral student at Durham University.