laundry hanging in the late afternoon sunlight
the white sheet of a woman who is my enemy,
the towel of a man who is my enemy,
to wipe off the sweat of his brow.
In the sky of the Old City
At the other end of the string,
I can’t see
because of the wall.
We have put up many flags,
they have put up many flags.
To make us think that they’re happy
To make them think that we’re happy.
Ecology of Jerusalem
The air over Jerusalem is saturated with prayers
like the air over industrial cities.
It’s hard to breathe.
And from time to time a new shipment of history
and the houses and towers are its packing materials.
Later these are discarded and piled up in dumps.
And sometimes candles arrive instead of people
and then it’s quiet.
And sometimes people come instead of candles
and then there’s noise.
And in enclosed gardens heavy with jasmine
like wicked brides that have been rejected,
lie in wait for their moment.
From Poems of Jerusalem by Yehuda Amichai. Tel Aviv: Schocken Publishing, 1987.