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ISSUE:  Autumn 2000
Shamayim, they say here, there
meaning sky. Before

God split the world into earth
and heaven, water was of one

body, as before Babel there was
one tongue. We all live in

terrible countries. Everywhere
people are rattled, perched

on the lip of a great divide.
In the Territories the air

thickens with ash, while over the Green Line
armed guards patrol maternity wings

serving both Arab and Jew. Last night
I lost my footing in the dark. At noon

you tripped over a sand-camouflaged
curb. This was before the quake struck

the rift running from Cyprus to Syria.
We didn’t feel a thing but the bees

went wild sensing the shifts to which
humans are numb, dive-bombing the trout

smothered in date sauce, your own
bald pate, the world under the world.


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