Shaharit (Morning Prayer)
by Amir Or

It is here, falling and expanding in nothingness, without prior notice of
         the birth of a universe from a point of light: an eye appears,
half opens, shuts and opens
         to see what there is to see; from an eye without an I, from outer light,
stains by now are slowly settling on the surface of the sun; a window frame,
         its paint pealed in strips of yes and no, through it –
densely shadowed brightly spotted ivy leaves
         that don’t lossen their grip from above the opposite wall; and crawl,
onward, into the empty vessel that was already washed in blinding light,
         under the beam of an eye that examines what-9s and what-is-not; in a moment
remnants of dawn will vanish in the skies of memory, and the room will fill up with words:
         bed sheet, clock, and hair nearby, that peeks from under the blanket –
and it’s not yours.  And no, I don’t want.  All this is still another dream,
         familiar like others, though somehow its images
are so unwilling, and it’s not enough to want them, so as to embody
        some kind of a world.  After the light –
flesh; a heavy opaque wave surrounds your will, still intangible,
         inanimate, in no hurry to carry the burden, to be a body once again, to exit
from the nothing to there. What can I do? Hey my soul,
         who will bless over your safe return, hop, into earth,
that immediately turns into an “I”, like in any dream.  And the I that’s behind,
         that is all eyes, also returns, yet is not quite “here”,
like Sinbad or Marco Polo from all their myriad lives; and by now it begins
         to expand in the flesh, to wear a dull forgotten will,
and in in a throat-less sign, eye after eye, to shut them all –
         except those two, that look straight ahead,
into the viscous interior.  And already – you’re still outside the movements –
         you go out to conquer for yourself time and place: blanket aside,
the back rolls half a turn on the elbow, then sends a pair of legs
         to place the I in the midst of space; now
where are the slippers?  The biped refuses, but nevertheless
         the whole bundle makes its way between the walls to the door,
in between the white tiles, a sin, a mirror and water,
         into what, in a combined effort a palate, a tongue,
lips and a throat, is known as – “I’m going to the bathroom”.
         Surrendering to the lighting and to what appears beneath it,
I look at the face of a portrait, hovering in front of me from a bright surface;
         Its features are a bit disheveled, its eyes bleary,
though see: we haven’t worn anything yet.  So enough, get up
         and get dressed already: name, surname, profession, age, (bachelor?)
married? divorced?) shaving, cologne, brushing teeth,
         now a hairdo, pants, (the black
or the blue?) where are the shoes, the shirt? (maybe
         a jacket is required?) – a little green angle slaps you on your mouth
and already you forgot what you remembered, from where and whereto; conquer a world
         of a cup of coffee, and then – we’ll see.  The fear appears
as a hidden note in the phone’s tune that is not even becoming
         to an order of prey birds: what do you want from me?
what did I do? what haven’t I given? Oh, Gordon,
         cast your gaze upon me now, before I’ll get used to moving,
before the day will populate itself with all its thousands of questions
         that dance on a tip of a needle,
which sews and closes my openings over me while I’m still alive;
         teach me the mirror’s secret
and the tranquil silence of a stone’s wisdom,
         against the mirror’s swarms of questions to which there’s only one answer:
here-I-am.
         newspaper, cigarette, more coffee, window divided
between light and shadow; beyond it – the promised land,
         clear and distinct, her garbage is already being emptied out,
and the dust, with which demons-of-entropy covered her all night,
         is being wiped off;
“newspaper”, “table”, “sugar jar”, ceiling
         floor and door, wall, corner, another wall and wall and crack –
like a reminder note stuck to every thing –
         teaching again a common movement
that has nothing of the glory of their creation,
         rather a call to order, which in the ramshackle power of a miracle,
the movement is sufficient to found in them a shared place and time
         to become quite a threatened reign over a kingdom of a room.  I
go to the washroom and there learn as from the beginning
         who feeds and who’s food, then let go of all this, surrender
in face of the goddess of Change, that digests the day
         without passing judgment.  Now I pass through me, like her,
stop saying “I”, and right a way I am; now
         all this no longer matters, but only this: that I’ll be
what ever will be.
         Oh goddess without figure, give me the strength to let go
and not to be so much, to roll through all the faces
         of this day; so I won’t freeze outside my heart,
and walk sinuously from fear on the day’s metamorphoses; so I won’t walk in course
         with the rest of the faces that already were,
and won’t roam as a dubious being through invisible corridors
         past the sights of the day; so I won’t be embarrassed to say”
here-I-am, talk to me in many voices,
         from al the here, from me.

~~~

Now slowly I open the exit door;
        this happiness, how come?
One step over the threshold imposes
        further submission, to a domain which scale
is the size of a grave, a world which is yours and not  yours;
        the threshold is a sdcret, a call beynd
another Curtain, in which 'be whom ever you'll be'
        is ot cheap or winged,
in front of what stands here outside valor and fear,
        solid as a god of Stone, it's face not yet carved,
and the one who won't see them, is "alive" only by name.
        The day waits outside for external action,
clear cut and sculptured in the body of matter and light;
        the goddess of Change governs here lazily,
and our will no longer shapes dream and shadow.
        The matter of things, that returns to a distinct dingdom,
sinks again into itself, into the weight of its being,
        so as today will be for us a border-stone and a dwelling boundary,
a touchstone and a grindstone for our indocile spirit -
        promethium's fetters on the rebelliousness of memory,
that so far has not been sufficiently initiated
        into the secret of the sacrificial order and the benevolence of a burden.
 
 

The Foreigner

to Amir  ~  to Moongate

 
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