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Far From Saida

by Elisha Porat

Far from Saida your face
sinks into a memory
Blue in the waters, wet and salted,
I carry it as a crib, reverently, without shaking.
Your face abruptly is thrown to shore
as my sea swells with deep longings.
I kneel in the soft sand to lift my food
From the Army doufflebag, the one
Your velvet hands packed last night;
The murmur of plastic wrapping,
The sour smell of condensation, both rise
From the sausage and cheese sandwiches.
Then I bend, lower than the horizon,
And I lean, whispering, to almost realize . . .
I take out a sandwich, chewing,
smelling, then the memory . . .
Suddenly I roll over
Into the warm sand
To kiss your fingerprints.
translated from Hebrew by Ward Kelley

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