I Wasn’t One of the Six Million: And What
Is My Life Span? Open Closed Open
by Yehuda Amichai (1924 – 2000)
Translated by Chana Bloch
What then is my life span? Like shooting a self-portrait.
I set up the camera a few feet away on something stable
(the one thing that’s stable in this world),
I decide on a good place to stand, near a tree,
run back to the camera, press the timer,
run back again to that place near the tree,
and I hear the ticking of time, the whirring
like a distant prayer, the click of the shutter like an execution.
That is my life span. God develops the picture
in His big darkroom. And here is the picture:
white hair on my head, eyes tired and heavy,
eyebrows black, like the charred lintels
above the windows in a house that burned down.
My life span is over.
Click on the link to read the entire poem:
Sometimes I Want To Sink Into Your Body
by Chana Bloch (1940 – 2017)
Sometimes I want to sink into your body
with the fever that spikes inside me
to be a woman
who can open a man.
Why must I be only softness and haunches,
a satin cul-de-sac?
You ought to know what sharpens me
like a barbed arrow.
Do you think we’re so different?
How you tease me, twiddle me,
hustle me along,
just when I’d like to splay you
tooth and nail.