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Day 22:
But peace returns to my heart.
Not peace as it used to be
before it left me years ago. It went away to school,
matured as I did,
and came back looking like me.


Day 23:
I'm an expert on the botany of good and evil,
I'm still studying it, I'll go on studying till the day I die.
I stood near the school building and looked in. This is the room
where we sat and learned. The windows of a classroom always open
to the future, but in our innocence we thought it was only landscape
we were seeing from the window.


Day 24:
In the morning it was still night and the lights were on
when we rose from happiness like people
who rise from the dead,
and like them in an instant each of us remembered
a former life. That's why we separated.


Day 25:
During the day we used to shout, Forgive us,
and in the evening, Open the gate to us.
But I say, Forget us, forgo us, leave us alone
when the gate closes and the day is gone.


Day 26:
I want to stand once again as I did
holding my first love all night long in the doorway.
When we left at dawn, the house
began to fall apart and since then the city and since then
the whole world.


Day 27:
And now, after thirty-two times,
I am still a parable
with no chance to become its meaning.
And I stand without camouflage before the enemy's eyes,
with outdated maps in my hand,
in the resistance that is a gathering strength and between towers,
and alone, without recommendations
in a vast desert.


Day 28:
i know a man
who photographed the view he saw
from the window of the room where he made love
and not the face of the woman he loved there.


Day 29:
Goodbye all of you, the living and the dead together.
Even a flag at half-mast flutters happily enough
when the wind blows. even longing is a bunch of sweet grapes
from which wine is pressed for feast and celebration.

And you, my few friends, go now, each of you,
go lead your flocks of memories
to pastures
where there is no remembrance.


Day 30:
When I have a headache, laughter
bursts out in the wrong place in my body.
And when I cry, they're putting my father in the ground
in a grave that's too big for him, and he won't
grow to fit it.


Day 31:
A woman beside me said: "Aren't they
beautiful!" and was startled by her words and by me.
Then she walked away into her life,
which is also half a setting out
and half a returning.
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from At the Maritime Museum

A woman beside me said: "Aren't they
beautiful!" and was startled by her words and by me.
Then she walked away into her life,
which is also half a setting out
and half a returning.
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from When I Have A Stomachache

When I have a headache, laughter
bursts out in the wrong place in my body.
And when I cry, they're putting my father in the ground
in a grave that's too big for him, and he won't
grow to fit it.
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from 1978 Reunion of Palmach Veterans at Ma'ayan Harod

Goodbye all of you, the living and the dead together.
Even a flag at half-mast flutters happily enough
when the wind blows. even longing is a bunch of sweet grapes
from which wine is pressed for feast and celebration.

And you, my few friends, go now, each of you,
go lead your flocks of memories
to pastures
where there is no remembrance.
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I Know a Man

i know a man
who photographed the view he saw
from the window of the room where he made love
and not the face of the woman he loved there.
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from For My Birthday

And now, after thirty-two times,
I am still a parable
with no chance to become its meaning.
And I stand without camouflage before the enemy's eyes,
with outdated maps in my hand,
in the resistance that is a gathering strength and between towers,
and alone, without recommendations
in a vast desert.
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from I Walked Past a House Where I Lived Once

I want to stand once again as I did
holding my first love all night long in the doorway.
When we left at dawn, the house
began to fall apart and since then the city and since then
the whole world.
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from Yom Kippur

During the day we used to shout, Forgive us,
and in the evening, Open the gate to us.
But I say, Forget us, forgo us, leave us alone
when the gate closes and the day is gone.
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from In the Morning it was Still Night

In the morning it was still night and the lights were on
when we rose from happiness like people
who rise from the dead,
and like them in an instant each of us remembered
a former life. That's why we separated.
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from The School Where I Studied

I'm an expert on the botany of good and evil,
I'm still studying it, I'll go on studying till the day I die.
I stood near the school building and looked in. This is the room
where we sat and learned. The windows of a classroom always open
to the future, but in our innocence we thought it was only landscape
we were seeing from the window.
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Day 15:
Beautiful is the world that wakes up early for evil,
beautiful is the world that falls asleep to sin and mercy,
in the profanity of our being together, you and I.
Beautiful is the world.


Day 16:
Let's compose sweet eulogies for each other
as we lie together in the dark. Tears
remain longer than whatever caused them.
My eyes have burned this newspaper to a mist
but the wheat goes on growing in Pharoah's dream.
Time isn't inside the clock
but love, sometimes, is inside our bodies.


Day 17:
A woman asked me last night on the dark street
how another woman was
who'd already died. Before her time—and not
in anyone else's time, either.
Out of a great weariness, I anwered,
"She's fine, she's fine."


Day 18:
And with the wisdom of war, they told me to carry
my first-aid bandage over my heart,
the foolish heart that still loved her
and the wise heart that would forget.


Day 19:
All evening we spoke about the armor of perfume
that will be pierced by pain, the security
candy provides, about brown
chocolate insulation,
about old disappointments that become
the hope of the young
like clothes that went out of fashion
and now are worn again.


Day 20:
And in his eyes he took the nameless dead,
he stored them, so that someday I might know and love them in his glance—so that I would

not die in horror, as they had all done....
He filled his eyes with them, and yet in vain:
to all my wars, unwilling, I must go.


Day 21:
I used to think it could be solved this way:
like people gathering in the station at midnight
for the last bus that will not come,
at first just a few, then more and more.
That was a chance to be close to one another,
to change everything, together
to start a new world
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from Orchard

But peace returns to my heart.
Not peace as it used to be
before it left me years ago. It went away to school,
matured as I did,
and came back looking like me.
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from The Hour of Grace

I used to think it could be solved this way:
like people gathering in the station at midnight
for the last bus that will not come,
at first just a few, then more and more.
That was a chance to be close to one another,
to change everything, together
to start a new world
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from We Loved Here

And in his eyes he took the nameless dead,
he stored them, so that someday I might know and love them in his glance—so that I would

not die in horror, as they had all done....
He filled his eyes with them, and yet in vain:
to all my wars, unwilling, I must go.
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from Jasmine

All evening we spoke about the armor of perfume
that will be pierced by pain, the security
candy provides, about brown
chocolate insulation,
about old disappointments that become
the hope of the young
like clothes that went out of fashion
and now are worn again.
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from "The Rustle of History's Wings," As They Used to Say Then

And with the wisdom of war, they told me to carry
my first-aid bandage over my heart,
the foolish heart that still loved her
and the wise heart that would forget.
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from From the Book of Esther I Filtered the Sediment

A woman asked me last night on the dark street
how another woman was
who'd already died. Before her time—and not
in anyone else's time, either.
Out of a great weariness, I anwered,
"She's fine, she's fine."
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from A Mutual Lullaby

Let's compose sweet eulogies for each other
as we lie together in the dark. Tears
remain longer than whatever caused them.
My eyes have burned this newspaper to a mist
but the wheat goes on growing in Pharoah's dream.
Time isn't inside the clock
but love, sometimes, is inside our bodies.
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Day 8:
Memorial day for the war dead. Add now
the grief of all your losses to their grief,
even of a woman that has left you. Mix
sorrow with sorrow, like time-saving history,
which stacks holiday and sacrifice and mourning
on one day for easy, convenient memory.




Day 9:
Try to remember some details. For they have no face
and their soul is hidden and their crying
is the same as their laughter,
and their silence and their shouting rise to one height
and their body temperature is between 98 and 104 degrees
and they have no life outside this narrow space
and they have no graven image, no likeness, no memory
and they have paper cups on the day of their rejoicing
and paper cups that are used once only


Day 10:
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.


Day 11:
A precise woman with a short haircut brings order
to my thoughts and my dresser drawers,
moves feelings around like furniture
into a new arrangement.
A woman whose body is cinched at the waist and firmly divided
into upper and lower,
with weather-forecast eyes
of shatterproof glass.


Day 12:
Once I sat on the steps by agate at David's Tower,
I placed my two heavy baskets at my side. A group of tourists
was standing around their guide and I became their target marker. "You see
that man with the baskets? Just right of his head there's an arch
from the Roman period. Just right of his head." "But he's moving, he's moving!"
I said to myself: redemption will come only if their guide tells them,
"You see that arch from the Roman period? It's not important: but next to it,
left and down a bit, there sits a man who's bought fruit and vegetables for his family."


Day 13:
Pinned to the paper like a butterfly.
How is it your identity's still breathing
between the pages? Your mouth was set to cry
till you found out that tears spoil everything.




Day 14:
The driver asked. We answered, All the way.
His shoulders said, If that's what you want, okay.
We paid a distant look, a close hello.
Our lives were stamped To the last stop: one way.
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from In the Middle of This Century

Beautiful is the world that wakes up early for evil,
beautiful is the world that falls asleep to sin and mercy,
in the profanity of our being together, you and I.
Beautiful is the world.

July 2016

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