existential wounds

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Love Poem
Yehuda Amichai
People use each other
To heal their pain. Each puts the other
on their existential wounds,
on the eye, the penis, the cunt,
the mouth, the open hand.
They grab one another and will not let go.

Photo by SHTTEFAN on Unsplash

“the heavens were hard above us”

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Because the idea of the mirror and its reflections – deceptive – hard to look at – bitter – angular – shying away from – never leave the mind.

We Did It
Yehuda Amichai

we did it

“‘Let’s be sensible’ & similar curses”

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Quick and Bitter
Yehuda Amichai

The end was quick and bitter.
Slow and sweet was the time between us,
slow and sweet were the nights
when my hands did not touch one another in despair but in the love
of your body which came
between them.

And when I entered into you
it seemed then that great happiness
could be measured with precision
of sharp pain. Quick and bitter.

Slow and sweet were the nights.
Now is bitter and grinding as sand—
‘Let’s be sensible’ and similar curses.

And as we stray further from love
we multiply the words,
words and sentences so long and orderly.
Had we remained together
we could have become a silence.

true life

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Untitled
-Yehuda Amichai
People in the dark always see people
In the light. It’s an old truth, since sun and night
Were created, people and darkness, and electricity.
A truth exploited by those who make war
For easy killing in an ambush, a truth that enables
The unhappy to see the happy, and the lonely — people in love
In a brightly lit room.
Yet true life is led between dark and light:
“I locked the door,” you said,
An important sentence, full of destiny.
I still remember the words,
But I forgot on which side of the door they were said,
Inside or outside.
And from the only letter I wrote to you
I remember only the bitter taste of
The stamp’s glue on my tongue.

Photo (c) 2006 MDV used under Creative Commons license.

“these words are like glass splinters”

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Years ago, I read this poem to my brother. He contemplated the ending in silence for a long time, as though he was poised to say something profound. Finally he exclaimed, with some exasperation, “MIST!”

Letter
-Yehuda Amichai
To sit on the veranda of a hotel in Jerusalem
and to write: sweetly pass the days
from desert to sea. And to write: Tears, here,
dry quickly. This little blot
is a tear that has melted ink. That’s how
they wrote a hundred years ago. “I have
drawn a circle round it.”

Time passes – like somebody who, on a telephone,
is laughing or weeping far away from me:
Whatever I’m hearing I can’t see.
And whatever I see I don’t hear.

We were not careful when we said “next year”
or “a month ago”. These words are like
glass splinters, which you can hurt yourself with,
Or cut veins. Those who do things like that.

But you were beautiful, like the interpretation
of ancient books.
Surplus of women in your far country
brought you to me, but
other statistics have taken you
away from me.

To live is to build a ship and a harbor
at the same time. And to complete the harbor
long after the ship was drowned.

And to finish: I remember only
that there was mist. And whoever
remembers only mist –
what does he remember?

wee dugs

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I’m a cat person but dogs have their uses, too.

A Dog After Love (-Yehuda Amichai)
After you left me
I let a dog smell at
My chest and my belly. It will fill its nose
And set out to find you.
I hope it will tear the
Testicles of your lover and bite off his penis
Or at least
Will bring me your stockings between his teeth.