Tikkun Magazine, March/April 2006


Orientation Talk for a New Immigrant

By Yosefa Raz

What is this resurrection game I'm playing

where I imagine dying in the bathtub, corner cafe, bus coming home?

Forms of protection: hard-hats, bicycle helmets, access to running water,

"my husband," extra strength tampons, pretending not to know what you are saying.

If I don't read the newspaper, if I don't call home, if I say the country's going to the dogs,

if I stop speaking Hebrew, if I forget thee ...

This is how widows live. They shut the doors to the old bedroom.

They float all day. His picture comes at night, lying awake in the darkness.

Will the loudspeakers never stop their warnings at the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station,

where I go in dreams, trying to change my route?

Corner of Vine and Walnut, bay-view, prayer over wet newspaper dispensers:

(Say it!) We will be living in war for the rest of our lives.

It's my education (Rabbi Akiva raked by combs, the atrocities, etc.)

that compels me to ask, How long, daughter do you think to live without your fate, your shadow?

How many days of peace are left for you this year?

Near the Bakery, they dug up the concrete, restored Strawberry Creek to sight.

In Berkeley, fall comes on alternate street corners; I count days on my finger joints.

The blind man with the burn scars tells me to watch the meteors tonight.

Source Citation

Raz, Yosefa. 2006. Orientation Talk for a New Immigrant. Tikkun 21(2): 80.

tags: Immigration, Israel/Palestine, Poetry & Fiction  
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