(translated from Hebrew by Helena Berg)


     This poem will be a poem of another century, not different from this one.
     This poem will be securely concealed    under heaps of words, until

     between the last sand grains of the hourglass,
     like a ship inside a bottle, it will be seen, this poem:

     the poem that will speak of innocence.  And common people that ostensibly
     were shaped by time, like tardy gods,

     will listen to it for no reason that wasn’t there before,
     rise their backs like snakes

     from the junk,    and there won’t be anywhere else
     to hurry from, and it won’t have an end

     different from its beginning.  It won’t be rich
     and won’t be poor.  It won’t bother anymore to promise

     and keep or carry out its utterances
     and won’t scrimp, or sail there from here.

     This poem, if it will speak to you, woman, it won’t call you
     muse-babe, and won’t lie with you like its fathers;

     or if to you, man, it won’t kneel or kill, won’t apply makeup
     and won’t take off its words and flesh, as it has not    has not --

     what.  Maybe now I’ll call it here, the bad poem
     of the century: here, sick with health    it barely walks

     drags its legs in the viscous current    of thoughts of the time
     or is stopped to show papers    and to have its trivia counted

     with arithmetical beads.  The inventory:  flowers and staples,
     corpses (yes, no worry), tall glasses.  After staples --

     also butterflies, and many footprints    and other hooks and shelves
     for the arguments of scholarly criticism, and also just to fool around, teeth

     against teeth, in the anarchic smiles of a chameleon    that doesn’t know
     its colours have long since turned into a parable.  Or in incomprehensible tranquillity

     to try someone else’s luck in games of
     to and fro    that have no goal other than, let’s say,

     a bit of fun the length of a line.  Spread orange on the blue
     of evening sky: now, plaster a little cloud.  Climb

     on it, see below: sea of sea, sand of sand.
     Or fingers.  Ten jointed worms

     move in inexplicable charm.  Now they encircle
     a ball whose circle is faulty, wonderful, fleshy,     further more,

     you may say a word (it’s a fruit, it’s called
     a peach).  And these words    their taste is full of the taste of

     its being, of a tone that accompanies the sight with wonder
     and not with a thought-slamming sound.  And this is the poem:

     it sings, let’s say, to the tar that stuck to the foot on the shore,
     to plastic bottles, to its own words.  It

     only sees: black atop white, transparent, or grainy.
     It is not less naked than you.  Also no more.  Only in this exactness

     that has no measure, but by the curves of a female-dog,
     a pot of cyclamens, or a hair strand on a bathtub railing.

     The creatures here don’t want to know.  The creatures
     there, that only want, are, for now, a possibility

     of becoming the creatures that are here, of becoming this antiquity
     that has nothing to say other than me, me, without limit

     without you.  A dog lies on a step in the afternoon
     sun, and does not distinguish itself from the flies.

Rain.  He’s torn from himself outward


     You bite, swallow, actually crack, line by line
     in front of this screen, spit the spaces as if they are

     a Hungarian sound track.  And it’s OK with me, because it’s OK
     with you: to reside between the walls, to be covered by them and move

     into a fetal rhythm: eat and drink, fill up a gas tank,
     order groceries, read poems, sleep.  Faster:

     an audio-visual commercial slogan, video clips,
     a microwave, peeping booths at a porno movie.  Faster:

     capsules, transfusion, electrodes.  Faster:
     don’t be born.  You are not and you don’t have an existence now

     outside this poem.  It doesn’t begin, and it doesn’t end
     in a page, a line or a comma.  This period is a point

     that floats in infinite space    just by distancing a distant gaze.  Come closer now
     see, there are clouds on it, orange on the blue of evening sky,

     sea of sea, sand of sand, and people walking,
     sitting, lying, swimming or making love.  Choose for yourself

     a place and time.  Where are you?  Now you are in one interior
     of a point of view.  Perhaps you’d like to be born? Now

     is the time that is termed in this here by a number name:
     twenty second of the first, one thousand nine-hundred and ninety-five,

     twelve thirty, noon, Sunday.  And good that you came.
     Tomorrow I’ll write the poem in which you’ll reside.  Here: this home*

     -- solely yours.  And its location, size, colours and furniture
     as the course of your gaze (refer to the above entry “period”), and also its windows

     face a home or homes    in the outskirts of the poem, in its navel or above it:
     behold its trees pass by, its inhabitants, cafes, and its flying saucers,

     cavalry, elephants, parchments, from which the sea has just withdrawn,
     they all flicker between there-is and there-isn’t, between a gaze and its reduction,

     between to be and me, between “this” and its names, (me
     me and more me:  a pot of cyclamens, a hair strand on a railing

     of a bathtub, etc.).  So go out and see: this poem, forsaken
     to meaningless murmurs, I and it have nothing but

     what is between here and I am.  (This is not an ending line, here –
     I wrote another one).  Now –

*the word “home” in Hebrew also means “stanza” in a poem


His inside gropes the things, turns to outside


     Come sit down, see: houses return to their places
     slowly.  The frost is lit on the windowpane.  One more day.

     Come sit down.  Coffee or tea? sugar, milk? That’s the way it is:
     hard boiled egg or sunny side up.  Yogurt or sour cream.  Jam or honey.

     This life, impossible with it
     and impossible without: morning or evening, you, man or woman,

     cold or hot - come sit down.  What else is new? The sea and the sand
     sink into each other, and there’s no lifesaver, and no one who interrupts,

     and I look at you, holding broken boards
     and there isn’t even a ship, and the description of the situation is not definite,

     and both of us are cut in the same sentence, and carry it further,
     each one for himself.  Come sit down,

     say: one or many.  Slavery or freedom.  Me
     or you.  Love or.  How could you know.  Fear.

     Only in absentmindedness, when we don’t have a shore
     and no footprints, and there’s a sound to the words    and there isn’t,

     and they mark not the pictures, but what has gaped
     between them and is gone, and never was.  Come sit down.

     Tomato, cucumber, green onion, cream cheese,
     slices of kummel bread, margarine, salt.

     Even if you’ll say: wait, you are dreaming - even if I’ll check
     my place and deeds, what will change?

     In fact, I’m sitting in front of the computer now.  In fact
     I am doing this - from the beginning, everything.  In fact

     you are now sitting in front of a page, you are hungry to touch the . . .
     like me.  In fact at this very moment, you touch

     from inside out, devour the world that doesn’t stop
     spilling out from you: orange on the blue of morning sky, frost

     burning on the windowpane, cup of tea - whatever
     you chose now and was.  So precisely this way,

     choose also now: me for example,
     one breakfast, one more day.  Here.

Tendril gropes / coils / on a groping tendril


     Already late to return from here, also dangerous to stop what
     we had said and thereupon was,    in which are such deeds.

     Take what you’ll take.  A liqueur glass, a cigarette, a TV,
     or any alibi you’d want (if you don’t mind, I

     will continue to write: inside of a thigh, texture of lips, one palm
     gathering a handful of a convex reality, a nipple in its middle).  True,

     this poem repeats what is impossible to repeat
     and as from a door in a desert, impossible to exit

     without meeting it outside.  Behold:  roads and sidewalks,
     airports and seaports, communication satellites.  Behold:  outer

     space from “here”,    it’s also in such a poem
     another relative point, like any other thing;

     and not only it, every “there” is already here: window
     gapes toward a window, and memories --

     devour the whole room: sea shore, palm trees, her boyish body
     is stooped over the notebook, her head inclined and her hair, black, smooth, falls

     and covers the universe.  Lips, inside of a thigh, breasts
     that sprout now, a Japanese nose, buttocks.

     The one who said and was this order - has no fear, or at least
     has forgetfulness, while each moment his gaze sprouts    on the sights.

     I’ll write it now:  I’ll let it disappear word by word
     and not be so much; and each line will begin and end

     like a landing of a fly    in a room of mirrors.  And anew:
     sea of sea, sand of sand.  Look and create them,

     hold them for a moment between the boundaries that wander,
     fix them in letters like an orderly cry

     to say what there isn’t, wasn’t, won’t be,
     and don’t bother more than that.  Now let go.  And again -

When he knows he’s crawling, the slough occurs on its own

-5 -

     Hold a world.  A cigarette, a glass, lips,
     the weight of your limbs on the chair’s plank, my face, your face,

     autumn leaves on the sidewalk, a lunch bag, warm smell
     and fingers that cover you before the day is turned off.

     Now, for a moment don’t hold.  Let go.  Let them expand
     and populate what’s inside you, without being so much a world,

     without placing the green on the leaves or on
     the memory of a palm tree, at the sea shore (near

     that boyish body, stooping over a notebook).
     Let the leaves mix with the sidewalk, to repose,

     to be not “leaves” at all, nor “a cigarette”, “a glass”
     “lips”.  To expand in you like excitement,

     like a sea on a shore.  When they’re already like this, inside you,
     turn them off, and on again.  Turn off, turn on,

     off-on, and again.  Now
     do the same thing with the world in which you are “you”,

     a thing of the things.  Peek at it sailing in the expanse
     of a body, turn-off-turn-on-turn-off and see

     from what you are.  All this is nothing but
     a parable’s moral.  We will continue flickering, and in a binary rhythm

     we’ll continue to say nothing to anyone who asks --
     I, you, etc.  And why not, let’s create a new parable:

     here, we created this outside.  This orange
     on the blue, the “ insult”, the “hope”, what

     quivers between us, between there-is and there-isn’t, between
     this and that.  Let’s call it.

Hand on hand.  (What broke out - touches)


     You say: to be penetrated, to penetrate. Sandsea, seasand,
     the verges of the middle.  Words fall between us

     like something broken.  Listen, I love you.
     But you, having it only your way, exist, exist, exist.

     You are not being paid for this, and still,
     Mr. Other and Mrs., you stroll on the street, as if

     you’re only a name    and you have no navel.  I
     act like you, repeat the movements

     which you repeat.  Tell me, reflection -
     I hurl another stone at you - is there anyone more actual than me?

     I say seasand, sandsea.  Like something
     broken: a myriad of faces, legs and hands,    like something

     that’s “there”.  So enough.  Come back to me.  I’ll let you go
     as often as you like.

     Now there’s no longer a difference between us, except this poem
     where a bit of a world resides.  There’s also another possibility,

     and not really different: here, you don’t go at all
     you don’t stop coming for a moment.  I open

     a mirror and turn its pages in front of what has already been
     written above: the sadness that you are, sad in front of the blue of evening sky,

     the anger, the insult, the longing that sucks blue from your chest,
     or happiness that suddenly spills in front of the blue    of that evening sky,

     it’s a voice that accompanies what my gaze now
     sees or doesn’t see.  And also you --

     I see world by world, now by now, one
     and yet another one.  In this poem, that stumbles from page

     to page, you peek and flicker between letter and letter
     and vanish-present in all the centimeters, that ostensibly only keep silent here --

     and don’t stop coming,    and not really coming.  So enough, please,
     don’t hide everywhere, talk to me all at once.

What touches, has a face


     Here, I sit on a bench in the park and bask in the sun.
     And next to me, as in a park, an old lady is sitting.  The body

     only asks to return to the beginning, to the first performance,
     that you have already seen over and over again    in lesser versions.

     Then - you remember - we cried from the light, and the world was the centre,
     like an underground central train station.  Afterwards were only

     faltering explanations, poems maddened by a repetitive yearning,
     misunderstood apologies, and letters

     that didn’t solve a thing.  People tired quickly, and hastened to those who
     had already trusted in their existence.  Like me and you

     they believed in habit without thinking about it, wore it
     like a snake’s skin, every morning.  I asked how they were,

     shook their hands (“hello”), we looked at one another
     from above or below    in the same pain.  In the books was written

     the same thing more or less, though in them time was different, full of teeth,
     biting the back of this time, that in a world wore the world.

     There were things without time at all: squares on a dress in the wind,
     skin under fingers or sun, a wound that healed and disappeared,

     purple briar buttons, an electric wire cutting
     the window in two, the fluttering of a curtain in the morning,

     or a hiding place among tall grass --
     those things taught me something else, that everyone knows.  You can

     ignore it by simple means, as with a countenance “how are you”,
     “son of a bitch”, “I deem that” etc.;     but time is pursued,

     and thus exists.  Along a path that hasn’t been weeded    the house turns
     into a back yard, into balding grass and a bra on a line,

     and “we’ve seen it before” fills up the sights with hallucinations,
     that earlier were called a dream.  The way out of the house

     passes through dunghills of images of existence, and out of them
     countless arms of face-beggars extend

     toward you in a thinning howl: see me, see me and believe in me,
     I’m your son that you loved, take me to you, take --

     and be redeemed.  I cry with them out of stupidity, cry
     and don’t look back, don’t look back.  At night –


     they greet your other faces    hungrier; you shut
     the dictionary in which “life” is only plural,* open a book,

     a fridge, a bottle, a T.V.  But despite everything
     they’re here - they come out of the freezer like a genie from a bottle

     and hop into the screen.  You shut your eyes and let go.  Let them do to you.
     And already the stage lights, a curtain rises fold by fold  (or rather

     curtain by curtain), a forest of eyes, sounds    and your-body in front of you
     that appears from nowhere, rolls from inside the stomach, and  leaves you no I

     beyond itself.  You go down to the river on stone stairs,
     strip naked, still dancing.  Two brownish youths

     splash water on a buffalo    until it yields to immerse.  A hawk dives into
     a reflection of a banyan tree, inside the net that was laid here, so it seems,

     by a fisherman; outside    a parked car’s alarm goes up and down.
     You extricate yourself from the blanket, still full of eyes, you gather your body

     and drag your feet to the shower, like a recurring dream.  Good morning,
     I say, and take you out slowly slowly

     from the mirror to the towel, that brings you back further
     into this body, and dresses you with a face.  You

     begin to use a palate, a tongue, a throat, lips, and extricate from there
     a hoarse sound    that tests the air:    “I --”

* the word “life” in Hebrew is plural, “life” and “lives” are distinguished only by context.


A face weaned from being a mouth


     What have I to do with it, this poem - now, as my gaze lingers
     for one more moment after, or in between, as words haven’t

     yet separated from the world; and only desire stands
     between its beginning and end, between what is inside it

     and what’s not.  Since this poem has no subject, just like
     you or me,

     since this poem has no subject, but only a predicate,
     and all the rest remains without being more present

     than a spot of light after a gaze at the sun, only movement
     is the subject here; the poem rests upon it.  And all the other things

     are drawn, it seems, from space impressions, that were indicated, it appears,
     in the hight of movement’s flight: from here it’s a tree, from here onwards

     the scent of a tree, from here    the roots are not earth.  Up to here
     a leaf (a divided green surface, its margins dented, flawed

     by a brown stain or two), now another line: it’s the petiole,
     and soon - a branch.  Inside there’s water, and outside there’s water

     whose names are a lake or rain.  Outside there’s light, it’s called a day;
     inside it’s something else, which concerns photosynthesis, and behind --

     it’s a shadow.  And it’s wonderful, because then one can say: “here is an oak”,
     “here is my neighbour, Michelle”, and even more:

     “hi, I missed you”, “go to hell!” “where
     were you all this time?”, but no tree

     grows less than the world    though withers as the world does,
     or is also registered as “tree” inside the “world” inventory.

     So let’s keep a distance as distance: the hand    that is between me and you
     is remembrance and forgetfulness    of someone that has no outside.

The mouth that suckled, is the mouth that nurses in a howl


     No matter where you’ll look it’s here.  “This poem” is returning home
     from everywhere to everywhere, and no place is vacant of it –

     crossing lands in stormy water, ascending air to a never-ending sky
     forgetting  how your face looks, until it suddenly rises from the sights,

     like memory;  you sit inside, early early in the morning,
     and cannot but see:

     from the fog, a fig tree grows in the old water pit,
     and the grass is tall and moist, still line to line, still green to the touch.

     And still, what does one say to a tree    when its bark touches my cheek
     and it has no visible beginning.  All this conversation

     is one word that contains no name, and the faded remains and only remains;
     where do you end, and where anew and again

     you begin.  Where does it happen, where did it happen,
     and why does it hurt, and what is it that hurts, and what,

     after all, brought us our faces back?
     Sheep tore off and chewed above.  Light examined palms of leaves.  Time

     returned to the distance.  And again, “This poem . . .” never mind,
     never mind.

In water he is a sea anemone. Extend arms of a flower, carnivore.


     And yet we are here, equipped with all.  Feet,
     back, bicep, eye, ear, nose, tongue and skin; we are here:

     faces and interiors, neighbours, cities, nations.  We are here,
     breathing, living.  And what is learnt from this?

     Some say, that life is its own continuation opposite another possibility,
     some say - conquest; some stretch an equal sign

     between the life and its absence, and some say that life
     was given to us for the service of those whose

     lives are not a life.  I say: you.
     And this can be easily explained: again the night wraps

     the sights.  At home lamps are lit.  Also in the light there’s no glance
     except that from the mirror, nothing but what sees me

     seeing it; and it bears no relief but longing, and no death
     but life.  And I take out from the warm and from the cold, the night wraps,

     and I long for the one who sees me through touching,
     and I don’t remember a thing.  Only this.

On the abrasive, glassy sand, he understands


     Snake, you say.  I say serpent.
     And then you say that snakes    were always also a symbol for medicine,

     wisdom, and longevity.  Snake and not serpent, you and not a biting reptile,
     fly above the main street, gracefully land on a cherry tree

     and sing and sing, as a nightingale to its mate, beautiful from so much self :
     the phone bursts, like howls at the end of an alley / the fax throws up

     the souls of others / and the computer is in save and there’s no lifesaver,
     and this begins again, and only begins. / This already was.

     Not this is the poem that is the poem, as this is the poem that’s not dedicated to you;
     I rest the poem on any face that I choose,

     I’m not waiting for a reply, not waiting for you to be
     in front of my finger in “reality”.  Hello to you, reality!

     Like a girl, mounting any imagination    like a rider on a horse,
     galloping on the “merely-image” which no place is vacant of,

     and no matter where she’ll gallop to, it comes and comes
     with you.  It’s clear enough when wandering from awareness of this

     to awareness of that, and a little less clear
     when agreeing so much between us    on images-that-are-here,

     and images-that-are-there.  Say, is “awakening”
     one thing?  (Is falling arriving?) this poem

     like the world, like a recurring dream, does not come and will not arrive
     from the dream to the “world”, from night to day,

     nor the other way around.  The poem says that “twilight” is its place,
     and already it’s inside it, without needing

     the sun or sunset.  The picture of consciousness comes out
     like a nestling from an egg of a warm possibility:  there is what thrills

     and thus exists; the picture of consciousness hatches, thus what-is exists.
     I’m only describing what I saw or heard –

     picture by picture, as if there’s a lineup for being; white stains
     of a seagull flock on the sea, hills of sand

     that were grooved by water, that fell from above.
     And this is a daily act, of which forks and what they pierce

     are made, and also I myself.  Say, and I’ll be.
     Going around the room without seeing, without remembering a thing,

     and looking for an ashtray.  All this was written.  Now you.  Now what’s the difference
     between the poem and you?

He’s coming


     Will you come?  Will I be happy to meet you?  Will the door
     be the gate?  Will three fires still greet your face

     and will their names still be explicit?  Fire of heart,
     fire of head, fire between-the-legs.  Is your face

     firewood to their flames now, is your face
     immortal as they are?  Will eternal fires persist?

     Is it not that butterflies were consumed? Do the fires thus burn,
     like breath, like fire of the stomach

     that consumes the bread? Will I see you when you sit in front of me?
     My beloved, my lover, my question mark!  From horizon to horizon

     a there-country lies    in my stomach.  Where does this path start
     that has no way?  Where does this string end,

     which is all edge?  And who goes there, even when I stay?
     Except for two arches and a dent between them, except for a slope

     into a pair of neck bones, what kind of sign is this
     that breaks from the chest a lengthy call:  come! - don’t come! -

     and another line ascends from the poem    to touch the image, but
     also here, so far you are not.  We don’t know each other.  For now

     we don’t have contempt for happiness.  And what’s happiness!  A calm sacrifice fire
     on which our faces are lain, and warmth that brims over

     the cavities of our stomach, our chest.  For now you only remember
     “outside the darkness freezes”.  But afterwards –

     it’s hot.  Smoke rises and something burns, and if we’ll continue – we’ll be consumed.
     Instead of this, from a distance, we sweat

     and not from excitement.  We wave a newspaper, a letter,
     create a stir and open a window    to inhale

     cold night’s air.  And it’s already late.  Someone has to
     return home, and behind again “come!” and “don’t come!”

     and we understand:  come when you won’t come.  Tomorrow it will be possible
     to see pain in the sand   in which returning footprints were stamped.

     Instead of all this    I shut the door and open the wall,
     and on my door I write:  Don’t come from here, always come from there.

Far from itself, he sees himself


     And when you’ll come here, remember this, remember how we got here:
     living Alpha-Betas remained kilometers behind

     on a slalom track of here and gone, flickered for another
     moment, vanished from the mirror.  What the Alfa-Romeo had to say

     was swallowed before hearing:  only this ability, to shatter,
     kept us together from falling upwards, after it

     a sky’s thud.  We rode on time;    we could have over taken
     a thousand more crashes, to wait for the flickering blue approaching behind,

     to get out of this for a moment before    license will be asked for:  what did you want?
     What did you mean?  What did you think about?  You could have got killed.

     This can also be asked    about a woman or a poem or
     a gaze.  But nothing will satisfy,

     nothing, other than a complete exterior, if there’s such a thing at all.
     And what is so alluring about this there, what, if not the here,

     that’s lain here in such doubt, that it exists more than ever –
     and still not enough.  When you’ll come here, remember this,

     sit in front of me and fall, straight into your eyes; and fall deep,
     far, so that also for me

     there will be room to fall.  It’s always possible to stop at the side of the road:
     words, excuses, plugs, gasket –

     to call this “misunderstanding” – and blink on the side of the lane
     to any stain    that passes through the corner of the eye:  take me.

A seed that was sown in sand, waits


     It’s very easy to betray me with me.  Try, I even forgive,
     you – no.  Now it’s necessary to court you for hours,

     to leave flowers on the desk, notes
     on the dining table, to invite you for fish,

     to water you with gin and tonic (tall glass).
     You walk around for days with wide eyes

     or play with a ball or a teddy-bear   as if only they are
     in the world.  All this, as the newspapers are full of horrible

     reports.  Someone shot himself in the head on a live broadcast,
     and the same thing also happened the previous week, on Dynasty.

     The memory works like a tired fisherman; crocodiles, sharks
     and just sardines, that fight over the bait

     as over boards of a sinking ship.  All this
     while you sit in the living-room; what’s the fear? I give you a hand

     and take you to the sea.  The sea is stormy, just as
     twenty eight years ago, when a stray shark bit

     one woman here, who emitted a scent of blood.  You return
     to your teddy bear-and-ball, and don’t stop not-looking at the sea.

     I take out a pencil and paper, and draw you a poem:
     the sea is stormy, your feet sink enwrapped

     in the wet sand, smell of sea weeds and salt, and kilometers of blue
     broken white strips.  Now you remember,

     even though it never happened this way.  You raise your gaze
     and remember everything.



     Therefore, I don’t even look at you, and prefer the window.
     And the eye, dappled black and gray, is distancing now

     to discover here several broken outlines of growth
     whose heart is one and not evident to sight.

     Like an elephant’s dry skin, grooved with islands, ancient,
     the olive tree gathers its folds

     into a concavity of old shadow-sunken curves, return
     to stretch in the ridges roughened by the sun’s touches.  There

     above a peel’s hump, a baby leans toward a breast --
     a rusty nail.

     Beyond this I don’t look, don’t think.  How can I
     think of the leaves turning silver outside in the twilight,

     of the sky that’s above it, above the gaze.  How can I
     think now of infinity and of the void, as you

     are about to die.  And as you are about to die, how can I
     not think of you.  How, to think perhaps on beloved ones

     that haven’t yet been, maybe even on living ones.
     To think that even in this   there’s a thought about you,

     and even believe in it.  Can I be that strong
     only because of what you have done to me now.  That you’re dead.  Tomorrow

     I’ll write you a few words, a grave’s inscription or at least a note --
     something poetic, for example, “here lies a dancer”.

     And if this won’t be enough to bury you, I’ll probably elaborate:
     “water me”, I’ll write on the marble, “water me,

     I am thirsty.  Water me and not with water.  Water me,
     and not with clear logic.  Water me, and not with a name.

     Water me and not with wine.  Water me and no more,
     water me.  Beauty won’t do, love won’t do, God won’t do –

     even this life won’t do, and not any life.  Water me,
     I am thirsty”.

Drowning, he breathes living water


     My Narcissus, in the end you got used to it.  You sprouted gills
     on the sides of your neck, and sliding down down,

     you sprawled among stems and water.  And the echo became a wave
     and the reflection a place, and you looked and looked and looked

     toward the skyline of water   and again
     jumped - out, to me.

     And the thunder returned to be the silence, the water - to be a screen,
     the eye - to marble.  You returned to be me.

     And the echo became a voice, and the reflection a face,
     and you were relieved.

     sit down.

He has memory.  The outside is torn from him inward


     No longer clear   how to fold back all
     this poem.  The poem is a memory, like a sun

     that remained in the eye after a glance at the sun; so also is
     the poem, line after line.  On the stairs

     a man climbs back to his apartment, second floor.
     This man, an expected temptation for another line, opens the door

     and gropes for the electric switch.  Afterwards to the fridge.
     Opens the bottle, and doesn’t make a parable out of it.

     You say there are facts   and all this did not happen in the poem, but
     on the stairs and in the apartment on Sunday at nine,

     and he was you, and anyway you returned
     to feed the cat.  The poem, you say, is like

     the sun that remained in the eye   after a glance at the eye
     that glanced at the sun.  I say, the poem is not further

     from the knowledge “here is a cat”, “here are words”, here
     again are worlds of memories   that will be remembered from now on.

     True, I forgot to talk about the cat, that never
     existed in the poem.  OK, so the cat gorged from a garbage can

     all afternoon, then displayed voraciousness    only out of compassion
     for the loneliness of such a man.  Yet, after all,

     in this poem there’s no cat which will remain indifferent
     to the smell of chicken leftovers, or will not detect them among its lines,

     despite them being well packed in a plastic doggy-bag
     in the neighborhood restaurant, just before closing time.

In its fullness, even a tree is not but a seed


     Now, perhaps, we could already read the poem
     without opening the book.  Now, once all this is over,

     it won’t perish even after its end, even if its existence will be left in peace
     in an undeciphered script, on a tombstone    that once an era carbon dioxide winds

     reveal on the face of Mars.
     This is not further from this line, and all that’s

     seen to me here, is only what you see: stains, pictures,
     faces of here-is; and the further you go, the closer you come.

     Pictures by pictures, time is spread over the whole land, and nevertheless
     seagulls of mid noon    extend again a neck into a night

     filled with dreams of fish.  All is drawn on the sand with a confident hand:
     This poem was a poem of another century, not different from the one that

     was seen in memory.  Like a bottle from a ship, like a demon,
     among grains of sand that accumulated in the sandglass shore,  publicly

     it will be seen, this poem, entirely by chance.  All at once it will run
     naked on two shores, and without shame will fall in love

     with every niche and heap, and will curse without side comments
     its funny blessings, and while listening, will listen.

     And without knowing what’s possible, what is not, and what isn’t what,
     will only render one plus one, one minus one, and will get

     one by one and two by two of   if-not-“I” -- then who.
     And then you’ll return home, open the door, and grope

     for the electric switch.  Afterwards to the fridge, open the bottle –
     and you won’t make a parable out of this, not even an example.

     Just shut the mirror, looking at the lamp, and warming like a butterfly
     in another mirror, without a face, in which is seen

     only sea of sea, sand of sand, orange on the blue of evening sky,
     in which is heard: come, sit down.

     And when you’ll see and also hear, you’ll be glad to reside in this poem,
     look with me at the hair strand on a bathtub railing, a pot of cyclamens

     or any other being that passed by here, and your gaze will land
     like a naked “I” inside this flowerpotness,

     cool, full with the weight of moist earth on your walls and base
     and your weight leans on the floor.  Or the old woman on the bench in the park –

     while the rustling of trees, children’s voices and mothers’ small-talk,
     warmth permeates your shriveling limbs, and half-asleep,

     awakens them to remember without words
     a touch, another bench, another moment of.  The thoughts

     pass in you    like clouds in sky of no-thing, their destination
     is unknown and they don’t have a tomorrow.  The wind plays with your hair

     as with leaves, children’s voices and mothers’ small-talk,
     like background music.  And the world is large, back and forth

     it’s full of your eyes.  Stone stair, a hawk falls
     on a reflection of a banyan tree    inside a net that was laid here,

     so it seems, by a fisherman.  And again    you carry a bare foot foothold
     or again gather your wings, let your body fall

     through the air.  Or only the surface of water,
     capering with branches and greenery, you are a living mirror, a world --

     bodiless, enfloding into you another hawk, another tree, and you sway
     with the river.  And finally, while your skin, torrid by the sun,

     is cooling in water up to your chest, you pull and pull
     the net to you, your muscles stretch to the weight, and the gaze

     between the slits of your eyes   observes flexible silvery backs
     and quivers with them    between crisscrossed strings.

     And then say:  this poem does exist.  This poem –
     its trees, its inhabitants, cafes and flying saucers,

     cavalry, elephants, parchments, that just now
     the gaze withdrew from – this poem is solely yours, and its way opened

     by the course of your gaze.  Here, look at me, see that which sees inside me;
     here, you wrote another line.

to Amir  /  to Moongate