Pikuach Nefesh

Alla Vilnyansky


–and the light, snuffed from their eyes

Any animal
which chews
on its
own cud
and has
a Cloven
Hoof is
clean. break
the rules
when a
human life
is at
To precise
depth severing
both Carotid
Arteries both
Jugular Veins
both Vagus Nerves.
The Trachea
and the
Esophagus, no
higher than
the Epiglottis
and no
lower than
where cilia
begin inside
the trachea
the animal
bleeding to
death. Animals
That only
chew cud
or only
have cloven
hooves are
unclean. An
insect born
inside a
fruit may
be eaten
if it
has never
crawled on
the ground.
The same
principles never
apply to
an animal
that has
not been
checked for
disease. allocate
the fat
to G-d.
Strict guidelines
require that
you kill
with a single




A recent graduate of Columbia University’s MFA program, Alla Vilnyansky has previously published in multiple digital and print journals including Saint Ann’s Review, Boog City and Poetry International.