On a roof in the Old City
Laundry hanging in the late afternoon sunlight:
The white sheet of a woman who is my enemy,
The towel of a man who is my enemy,
To wipe off the sweat of his brow.
In the sky of the Old City
At the other end of the string,
I can't see
Because of the wall.
We have put up many flags,
They have put up many flags.
To make us think that they're happy.
To make them think that we're happy.
Once a great love cut my life in two.
The first part goes on twisting
at some other place like a snake cut in two.
The passing years have calmed me
and brought healing to my heart and rest to my eyes.
And I'm like someone standing in the Judean desert, looking at a sign:
He cannot see the sea, but he knows.
Thus I remember your face everywhere
at your "face Level.
Before the gate has been closed,
before the last quetion is posed,
before I am transposed.
Before the weeds fill the gardens,
before there are no pardons,
before the concrete hardens.
Before all the flute-holes are covered,
beore things are locked in then cupboard,
before the rules are discovered.
Before the conclusion is planned,
before God closes his hand,
before we have nowhere to stand.
After you left me
I let a dog smell at
My chest and my belly.
It will fill its nose
And set out to find you.
I hope it will tear the
Testicles of your lover and bite off his penis
Or at least
Will bring me your stockings between his teeth.
Your thighs off my hips.
As far as I'm concerned
They are all surgeons.
All of them.
They dismantled us
Each from the other.
As far as I'm concerned
They are all engineers.
All of them.
We were such a good
And loving invention.
An aeroplane made from a man and wife.
Wings and everything.
We hovered a little above the earth.
We even flew a little.
I have become very hairy all over my body.
I'm afraid they'll start hunting me because of my fur.
My multicolored shirt has no meaning of love --
it looks like an air photo of a railway station.
At night my body is open and awake under the blanket,
like eyes under the blindfold of someone to be shot.
Restless I shall wander about;
hungry for life I'll die.
Yet I wanted to be calm, like a mound with all its cities destroyed,
and tranquil, like a full cemetery.
Near the wall of a house painted
to look like stone,
I saw visions of God.
A sleepless night that gives others a headache
gave me flowers
opening beautifully inside my brain.
And he who was lost like a dog
will be found like a human being
and brought back home again.
Love is not the last room: there are others
after it, the whole length of the corridor
that has no end.
Forgetting someone is like forgetting to turn off the light
in the backyard so it stays lit all the next day
But then it is the light that makes you remember.
The memory of my father is wrapped up in
white paper, like sandwiches taken for a day at work.
Just as a magician takes towers and rabbits
out of his hat, he drew love from his small body,
and the rivers of his hands
overflowed with good deeds.
The first rain reminds me
Of the rising summer dust.
The rain doesn't remember the rain of yesteryear.
A year is a trained beast with no memories.
Soon you will again wear your harnesses,
Beautiful and embroidered, to hold
Sheer stockings: you
Mare and harnesser in one body.
The white panic of soft flesh
In the panic of a sudden vision
Of ancient saints.
I know a man
who photographed the view he saw
from the window of the room where he made love
and not the face of the woman he loved there.
A night drive to Ein Yahav in the Arava Desert,
a drive in the rain.
Yes, in the rain.
There I met people who grow date palms,
there I saw tamarisk trees and risk trees,
there I saw hope barbed as barbed wire.
And I said to myself: That's true, hope needs to be
like barbed wire to keep out despair,
hope must be a mine field.
The little park planted in memory of a boy
who fell in the war begins
to resemble him
as he was twenty eight years ago.
Year by year they look more alike.
His old parents come almost daily
to sit on a bench
and look at him.
And every night the memory in the garden
hums like a little motor.
During the day you can't hear it.