You stiffen, poisoned by sudden dread
while the day founders and changes color
and the blood behind a steadily rising pulse
spreads pain into the finest vessels
where it flutters around like ash
that a wingbeat lifts above the embers
until the heart that coral tree
acutely blossoming stands still in a cramp,
on the point of drowning in its own blood
For who can go on his way immune
in a city where people live separated
like shards of the same dream
The darkness piercing a stranger
- will the hatred invade you?
Like shrapnel that gnaws into your flesh
far, far from that morning when, new-born
you were blessed by the first light.
Territorial Song 1994, translated by Roger Greenwald
Territorial Song. Poems.
Translated by Miriam Eytan