the ground

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Someplace
Yehuda Amichai
Someplace
The rain is no more, but never
Did I stand at the border,
Where one leg is still
Dry and the other gets wet in the rain

Or in a country where people
Bend no more
If something falls to the ground.

Photo by 兆航 樊 on Unsplash

tall to the sky

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Stewardess
Yehuda Amichai
A stewardess told us to extinguish all smoking materials
And did not detail, cigarette, cigar, or pipe.
I answered her in my heart: You have beautiful love material,
And I did not detail either.

And she told me to buckle up, bind myself
To the chair, and I answered:
I want all the buckles in my life to have the shape of your mouth.

And she said: You want coffee now or later,
Or never. And she passed by me
Tall to the sky.

The small scar at the top of her arm
Testified that she will never be touched by smallpox
And her eyes testified that she’ll never fall in love again:
She belongs to the conservative party
Of lovers of one great love in their life.

calming nostalgia

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Untitled
Yehuda Amichai
If now, in the middle of my life, I think
of death, I do so out of confidence
that in the middle of death I will suddenly think
of life, with the same calming nostalgia
and with the distant gaze of people
who know their prophecies come true.

Photo by T L on Unsplash

 

do not ask

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A Placenta of Love
Yehuda Amichai

A placenta of love: letters,
Calculations of time, just talk:
I forgot the name of the holiday,
It was warm and good
And I saw you flying without a miracle,
Without an airplane.

Do not ask us
To live a second time.

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

knew no boundaries

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Flowers in a Room
Yehuda Amichai

Flowers in a room are prettier than the weed’s lust outside.
And though they are cut off from the earth
And without hope,
Their self-deluding desire adorns the room
So you, sitting in my room, are beautiful
with love for someone else.

How can I help you.
The happy wear a thin necklace with black hair
And on their forehead the sign of joy.
And a Greek man looks with blue eyes
Into the dark thicket and is dreamed
By a distant woman, unknowingly.

I cannot help you
As I cannot help myself.

I too make square pictures
Out of round love
That knew no boundaries.

tabby

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Mortification of the Soul
T. Carmi
Yom Kippur on the Sabbath:
instead of shofar blows,
a gray tomcat shoves his horn
into a black tabby;
her complaint goes up to heaven–
the tremulous wails of chastised infants;
his teeth fasten until she bleeds,
the army of his sperm
roars in her womb.

And the parched neighbor
who no longer remembers
when old age overtook her
stands in the window, shrieking:
Enough! Enough! Enough!