Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Oblivion. Salman Masalha; Translated from Hebrew by Vivian Eden.


Strange people sit in
cafés of an evening.  The day
has already flown from their memories,
slipped through their fingers without knowing
what remained at its end.  Without knowing
love.  And from within the noise reflected in
a shop window, and the talk of this and that,
and especially of the rise of the stocks in December,
and the drop in the price of gold, I remember
the Gate of Oblivion.  This is the gate overlooking
the Chambers of Joy.  Because from so much memory
you forget who you are.  Who is ugly and who beautiful.
You forget who lived before you by his sword,
and who walks towards his death on the café table.
There, at the end, between sip and sip
you will yet discover
in the murky depths of a cup
that oblivion
is the beginning of memory. 

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