THE LITTLE PRINCE GROWS OLD
Perhaps this is it.
I've had my fill. Done
what I have done
no need to carry on.
I have given the words their due, love
hers. And as for me?
I am become poet of the kingdom,
where two reign by night and one by day.
In my sleep - I dream within me. By day -
the dreams dies. Towards evening the king ascends
to light the lanterns
hanging on a low cloud. And the flame, like life itself,
sealed within the glass.
MOUTH TO MOUTH
We come and we go
and meet over the doorstep as if
on the edge of earth
we stand and we move on
and the darkness between us
blindly pass black ice
from mouth to mouth.
THE LANGUAGES IN THE LAND OF ISRAEL
My mother's mouth is soft
like the cry of guilt-feelings
wild flesh between my mother's lips
a trembling and moist wolf cub
in a woodland winter. She drops him
and gathers him up, nibbling
at this fur, purring whispers at his ear.
Wherever I go, whenever I run,
whatever distance draw us part, I knew
her whispers would grow into guilt-feelings
Here in the Land of Israel, the Hebrew tongue no longer
takes her into account; the words fall
tasteless from her lips
her weakened tongue rolls a wheelchair in her hands
as she turns words
from Yiddish into Hebrew
Stones in a treacherous field. Scorpions
at their moist sides. They approach with yellow tongues
guilt-feelings, hanging themselves on her tongue.
translated from Hebrew by Mel Rosenberg