T. Carmi

Survivor's Monologue
Those who remember me Diminish in growing numbers.
I am my own relation,
And I say:
Like thieves on the run
They look with them photographs, Letters, drafts,
Left me empty-handed.
I search my palms
And find desolation:
No shade, no voice, No echo.
How could they tear out The lines from my fists?
They were in me, and I in them; They have no substitute.
Going away they left me
This distance
Between me and myself.
And I say: This is my new substitution.

Monologue In The Twilight Of His Life

Without my noticing The time has come.
I live my life in thirds:
One third at the gravesides of friends, One third among the living
(In some measure or other),
One third at the plot
That eagerly awaits me,
Without my noticing The time has come.
I lie to the dawn,
To my son, sleeping open mouthed,
To her, half of my body,
Who crosses the night.
I am all lies, lies,
Dripping memories, smiles.
Without my noticing
The time has come,
Following me, like a phantom. We are two who are one.
I deceive everyone:
I speak in the singular, Purchase one ticket
on the bus.

Mourner's Monologue

"It is decreed that the dead
Should be forgotten from the Heart. "

In the meantime, though,
The decree bides its time;
Inside of me the dead blossoms, Kicks the walls of my belly,
Sucks my sorrow.
One day he will emerge, Red-faced, shrieking,
His birth certificate imprinted With his I.D. number.

We'll be a single parent family; The dear deceased and I.

From Monologue and Other Poems (Hebrew), 1988 All Poems translated by Tsipi Keller