Yes, this is really a love poem,
a song of envy and fear,
a wrinkled man on his chair in a robe,
perhaps writing, or reading –
looking at himself, summing up his life.
What will you think then – my daughter –
of your father shirking
his responsibilities and habits and job
out of inertia and lack of foresight.
Will it still be possible in so direct a transmission
to balance the eye, to make the heart tremble.
Can we still comfort each other in distress –
avoid malice and lies and envy and madness
and can I speak to you of rivers and seas
far away lands and multicolor birds?
The yellow roses behind the transparent wall
and the trickling music of the harp like a waterfall
whose source dims memories of distant distress,
of a body draining out the dregs of life
in streets drenched with boiling anger.
Even here her green eyes are wide open,
scorch my back, stare through things,
pierce through the lechery of matter.
Soon I will be informed that she has been
transformed to a column of smoke,
leading me from now until forever.
This was just a warning.
Come, let's sit on the bench, facing the station,
facing the wall, our backs to the wind.
Look, the sky has reddened and the tower sinks,
disappears in the red of the clay.
Look, manikins sit on Temple Mount
where birds of prey draw in their nails,
asking for food and feather padding.
I ask of myself and you may be the judge –
between me and myself, between me and you:
Are you the one descending to a baseness
that stirs up golden foam and a rage of dark desires
blazing on the walls of the hollow aquarium?
Are you the one who falls into the prophecy
bubbling fatalistic-like sweetness
summeriness promising departure
from the crowd stink
that strains in the folds of your body,
returning the breath to your nose,
and adrenalin to the arterial system?
I heard once – please listen – a mourner
who said: the silver royal partridge
grew such a large feather tail,
that its walk became heavy
and it fell victim to its devourers.
Even now, after all that,
I don't know if the gust of wind
is not from the door of the plane
wide open before a free fall, before the clouds
disappear into the blue and the soft sands
spread palely out from under us.
Translated by Karen Alkalay-Gut