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Fall 1999 by Elisha Porat

translated from Hebrew by Asher Harris 


      Now in the fall the curlews assemble 
     In the orchards, and the grey conies 
     Are already changing their colours, while I 
     Too rub on my heart the cream 
     That protects from summer heat, to keep it 
     Safe on wintry days as well. 
     And in my room which darkens in the cloudy light 
     I go up to the wall: I tear off papers, 
     Pictures and reminders of the last two thousand years. 
     I stand in front of the empty rack 
     And once more take a pledge: 
     No bungling now, you treacherous body, 
     You have to bear me still 
     All of me, into the next thousand. 

to Elisha     to Moongate