Summer 2000 • Vol. XXII No. 3/4 PoetryJuly 1, 2000 |

Abused Neighbor

Translated from Hebrew by Tsipi Keller A neighbor, her face creased with lines, who lives below me in a crowded flat, fell in love with me, I think, because of two accidental hints, hinted, in her view, in the jeans that dropped twice from my clothesline onto hers—stretched below and parallel to mine. For she perceived desire in their yielding to gravity, a perception that rose in her eyes in our fleeting encounters on the stairs. Clearly, if her husband, on every occasion, hadn't listed her flaws, hadn't crammed them in the neighbors' ears on hushed Sabbath mornings, and if her face hadn't been creased by the prison of her life and its warden to the point where she was completely cut off from the passion of suitors, she wouldn't have perceived in the jeans hints of love and pleasure with the neighbor upstairs, namely me. It is also clear that were my life replete with love the neighbor wouldn't have entered the poem.

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Translated from Hebrew by Tsipi Keller A neighbor, her face creased with lines, who lives below me in a crowded flat, fell in love with me, I think, because of […]

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