In Jerusalem, and I mean within the ancient walls,
I walk from one epoch to another without a memory
to guide me. The prophets over there are sharing
the history of the holy . . . ascending to heaven
and returning less discouraged and melancholy, because love
and peace are holy and are coming to town.
I was walking down a slope and thinking to myself: How
do the narrators disagree over what light said about a stone?
Is it from a dimly lit stone that wars flare up?
I walk in my sleep. I stare in my sleep. I see
no one behind me. I see no one ahead of me.
All this light is for me. I walk. I become lighter. I fly
then I become another. Transfigured. Words
sprout like grass from Isaiah’s messenger
mouth: “If you don’t believe you won’t believe.”
I walk as if I were another. And my wound a white
biblical rose. And my hands like two doves
on the cross hovering and carrying the earth.
I don’t walk, I fly, I become another,
transfigured. No place and no time. So who am I?
I am no I in ascension’s presence. But I
think to myself: Alone, the prophet Mohammad
spoke classical Arabic. “And then what?”
Then what? A woman soldier shouted:
Is that you again? Didn’t I kill you?
I said: You killed me . . . and I forgot, like you, to die.
A Noun Sentence
A noun sentence, no verb to it or in it: to the sea the scent of the bed after making love ... a salty perfume or a sour one. A noun sentence: my wounded joy like the sunset at your strange windows. My flower green like the phoenix. My heart exceeding my need, hesitant between two doors: entry a joke, and exit a labyrinth. Where is my shadow—my guide amid the crowdedness on the road to judgment day? And I as an ancient stone of two dark colors in the city wall, chestnut and black, a protruding insensitivity toward my visitors and the interpretation of shadows. Wishing for the present tense a foothold for walking behind me or ahead of me, barefoot. Where is my second road to the staircase of expanse? Where is futility? Where is the road to the road? And where are we, the marching on the footpath of the present tense, where are we? Our talk a predicate and a subject before the sea, and the elusive foam of speech the dots on the letters, wishing for the present tense a foothold on the pavement ...