[End Page 106]
From Ha Tikra Afah (The Ceiling Flew Up) Tel Aviv: Helicon, 2001. Used with permission. [End Page 108]
Life isn't what you expected, onward,but in a circle.Where are we? In the same place againafter being on the way to a different one.
If you thought living in a mirror means that you can see,you were wrong. Here, in the sky's reflection,hard to tell pink from blue,and what lies after what.Think about it, patches compriseour concept of volume.Are the ravens in the trees or the trees in the ravens? [End Page 107]
You know, understanding is more than plane geometry.Perhaps the water lilies think we are twojdimensional creatures,transparent gloves or golden shoes,but for us, what is called "I"is stuck to itself, always sailing in the middle.Not to hear yourself means to be voiceless,but unlike you, we don't even try.
In the morning when light falls into the water,bodiless, like us,the pool goes up in flames of instant love,the water ripples, but soon a shadow arrives.That's how it is; it's okay to be coldjhearted:we don't even know if we feel sorry.
When the rain beats down we are mute glassas if facing everything about darkness and spirit.But being hidden doesn't mean you have a secret.If gravity pulls you down, it doesn't mean you've reached the depths.You ask how we manage?
Not everyone needs the same amount of air.I have no complaints; although the place where we aren'tis much more spacious than where we are;to leave, which seems logical,would be absolute madness for us,utterly destructive. [End Page 109]
Nurit Zarchi, whose ninth book of poems, Timegrass, was published in Israel in 2008, is also a prolific fiction and memoir writer, and the beloved author of scores of children's books. She regularly teaches creative writing at Hebrew University and other venues. Her work has appeared in English in Jubilat, Prairie Schooner and Fiction. Born in pre-state Jerusalem, she grew up there and on a kibbutz, where her widowed mother was a Bible teacher. The life of women and solidarity with children are constant themes in all her genres. She is the mother of two and grandmother of six.
Lisa Katz won the 2008 Mississippi Poetry Prize. Reconstruction, a volume of her poetry translated from English into Hebrew, as well as poems written in Hebrew, was published by the veteran Israeli press Am Oved in 2008. A secular American, in 1983 she moved from her native New York to Israel, where she now works as a translator. In addition to Mishol's Look There, she is the translator (with Shlomit Naor) of the forthcoming Approaching You in English (Zephyr Press), poetry with a focus on gender and religious practice by Admiel Kosman. She is the mother of two bilingual adults in their 20s.