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Lesson In  Geology by Elisha Porat
translated from Hebrew by Riva  Rubin

photo of old Jerusalem

"The anomaly of Jerusalem is not simple to perceive,
at a glance, transparent:
Mountain platform and chalkstone, an elevated Holy Site."
He tapped with his stonemason`s hammer,
chipping crimson flakes off a stone taken from a wall.
"The Flawless red stone of Jerusalem testifies
that there in the subterranean depth of the city,
all is broken burst and smashed.
Like a gigantic inverted funnel -
a cistern for Jewish blood pumping,
draining into it from all worlds."
I remember his lesson as if it was yesterday:
the city afloat, the street suddenly swaying,
the veins of rust and dim and deep beneath me,
the rustle and seethe of a primeval  river.
© 2000 Elisha Porat

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