at the foot of Massada where the Dead Sea has forgotten it is a sea the café’s hired hand wheels out the sweet stench of organic refuse
a sleepy succah overhangs an anemic land where washed-out shrubs and scrawny cats watch glazed pigeons brush the edge of a mosaic deck [End Page 71]
like a lost city the marl-chiselled wadi hunkers down to the highway marked by drooping fronds pointing to civilization
in the afternoon lull the roadhouse kingpin who was once a victim lights a cigarette and observes the staffer who was once a Bedouin [End Page 72]
Chaya Steiner is a Jerusalem translator, editor and writer. She was born in a DP camp, raised in Montreal and has lived in Israel since 1968. Her work has appeared in the Jerusalem Post, JNF Illustrated, Voices Israel, Voices from Israel and Helicon (Hebrew). Jewishly schizophrenic, she is aka Evelyn Abel. She is married with three children, one grandchild, and two dogs (the cat died).