I’m in a state of how does it go and I shall call it Aviva-no I shall call it sisterless
and I shall speak of it with straightforwardness not by way of verse but by pain
and thus is its Law it has no Law – stifling-breath angels and blazing-eyed
beasts, in the internet above and the buried books below, it has no
Law, it is only the moment piercing space like a pin into glass
and the heart is arrested and named mere breath
for the three hundred and sixty five minas of smoke within it
against the count of three hundred and sixty five days of.

And I did not know that I would have to live
your death, and how easily
it would fit into words. Just as Mother
explained to the grandchildren, we will
never see Aviva again. And I heard
her cry, not that howling
lamentation, just the flow
of one whose strength vanished in the flame.
And they asked, caught up in wondering,
if you climbed up to a star, what
would you do if it fell, would you be hungry.
And she put them in the bomb
shelter and came sobbing to
the living room where I sat
and said
how simple it is to see
in the dark, like an ember glowing wild –
losing a child means always losing a child.

One can sing of rain, the mightiness
of water, all through the shiv’ah corpulent clouds
rubbed against the softness
of the mourners’ tent, and of the slightest of them one can sing,
now on Shevat dawn,
kafir over the greyish lawn, there your childhood,
and there your fallen life is crammed:

Your locks are full of shards
after a shower, through which you’ve run your fingers
and did not brush, even when they chided, a smile on your lips,
you read Austen, that British bitch has
a sharp wit, as fog dwellers usually do, outline of geography,

and the comments of amazement, reddish
upon the copied desert maps, distances
you’ve crossed, fixed within Sderot, asphalt lines
reaching your students, disquieting problems
of geometry.

Could you have guessed all this was
before you came to know it,
because the future has occurred and it’s blowing
your way you
who are time resistant –

The end of time has wakened, will
you not hear, in the air’s fortress,
among the dewdrops, the almond tree quivers at its blossoms, no,
it has quivered,

no, the planted trees have dried out, the growing flora have expired, the earth has vomited
its heart, and it’s enormous,
breathing your breath, light had descended like iron,
so refined, filled its space below
the whole world has broken so, facing Aviva-no.

I recall the flame tree made taut with summer
in Sderot,
its reddish dawn is
the Strip of fire.

Nothing’s scorched, skin
nor sight: it’s here we came, my sweaty
palm clawed
in yours.

And here you set me down, showed me
the books. A braid you had,
there were your eyes, you did not know
how redeemed
you were already.

Thirteen years old, delivered from
the flesh, breathing air whose
nature is unknown. And the world
trembled, the world raged, thrusts of light
like chariots. You grasped
the movement, the dismemberment, you raised
your eyes but horizon there was none,
cranes of warblers lashed the ground,
and dandelion scaffolds
cling, reaching where.

Thirty years you lingered in the here. Walked with us
a touch at most, almost
never tempted by the human din. We in the profanum vulgus
racing through urban sprawl, crossing seas –
Paris, Florence, London, a bundle of appalling flesh and marble,
which did not cease with your cessation

and you’re with us, at our side, in your here, craving
love, casting sentences over the distance,
but never shackled.

We knew you utterly without knowing
one fraction. If redemption is losing
the self, then who is
the redeemed.

Translated by Yael Segalovitz Eshel