POETICS: A SPICE BOX
You never know where you will begin -
from a simple word, a sound, a closed portion -
You never know if the immediate cause
is in the smell of mown grass,
in the poisoned bee-eater
that fell among the geraniums
like source upon source
to the sound of a hidden bell -
You never know. What is called the soul
is like a sealed spice-box.
As long as it is closed the sense of smell is kept waiting
helpless. Opened –
Happy the anosmics who do not know
the shudder of filled nostrils like
the smell of resin
that light flutter
of swallowing the first vowel
before it drops and mingles
with this unrest.
And the penetration
And the pain.
from Shirat Rosa (Sifriyat HaPoalim, 1987)
translated by Karen Alkalay-Gut.