Ballad of the Middle of the Twenty First Century
(with thanks to Serge Gainsbourg and Danny Blair Shwed Jones Grossman for the inspiration)
I peek at her white body and at that other one standing beside her,
her body shrivels from him, and her spirit sings a gentle song versed by her fancy.
So, the Botticelli painting stands in my bathroom
the orange with the black stains of mold.
Her colors don’t fade,
the light shatters on her body,
only her clothes shrivel
and get wet on the old floor tiles.
I look at her and him from afar
like a grownup peeking into his childhood,
and my mind captures photos with a rare camera
that you can’t buy
despite all the advanced technology of the age.
The bathroom colors the painting
with wet orange, and that other one cowers from the holy
water, under the mold.
On the walls little angels and fairies,
dance around her only.
After washing her hair,
she’s busy drying
while that other one
chews the fat
with her shadow.
The smell of her hair knocks me down from the peeking stance,
that other comes right over to see where the racket came from
and then right in front of my eyes, from my hiding place,
his goat’s feet come into view with the terrible smell.
The movements of her towel are so gentle,
that the bathtub itself wants to get up and make love to her
without penetration, just a sequence of touch after touch
stringing together a pleasantperverse feeling.
I look at her white body and at that other one standing next to her
I get hard from her and from him.
And this is the angel of death
that is competing with me for her love
and I have no way to beat him
but to die at her feet
for her to come to me
and my arms to be weaved into hers.
This poem was published first on Scar Minimizer (Tel-Aviv: Gwanim Publishers, 2001) and then on “Märchenland: Die beteiligten Autoren setzten sich mit den Märchen der Gebrüder Grimm auseinander, brachten ihre prosaische Form auf eine lyrische Ebene und begaben sich in die mitunter ambivalenten Bereiche des kulturellen Gedächtnisses in Deutschland und Israel.”