I love it when the busses open their doors
in the middle of a traffic jam and the drivers talk about dinner plans
to one another. I love it when a slender woman tightens
her belt on the sidewalk in front of the train station.
I love the hail from last week. I love how my house keeps
filling itself with birds, that fly in and out of the balcony and furry things
of various velocities, I love how Benny appears like an angel
every time I climb a ladder in the garden, and how his nets
turn the trees into wings, and under the wings
are apples. Benny asking me what I think, telling me about
the tortoises his lady friend in Greece has in her gardens. I
love it when I tell my love that I am scandalously in love
this morning and he answer that it’s funny how he was just
thinking of me, by which he means “me, too.” I tell him how Benny
explains how the winds that carry sand and heat (some people
think they are carrying death, he says, but they aren’t), they’re carrying
minerals that stick to the leaves and slide down in the rain to the soil,
and sprinkle them over the sea, so the algae can grow, and next,
the fish. I love it that Erika asks if she should bring
an umbrella, though summer is beginning, for the casual way she handles
miracles. For Benny says it’s strange how much work I do, and how little
the garden gives back. It is my most obsessive lesson,
this love to finish thoughts that are impossible, it comes
from having had illegible handwriting all my life.
And also from wishing old men a morning
of goodness, and being wished back a morning of light,
and the clouds are growing so full now they are sticking
on the tree line, and the sun cloaked in dust is so heavy
they look almost identical now.
Marcela Sulak's lyrical memoir, "A Mouth Full of Seeds," and third poetry collection, "City of Sky Papers" are both forthcoming with Black Lawrence Press. Her fourth book-length poetry translation, "Twenty Girls to Envy Me. The Selected Poems of Orit Gidali," was nominated for the 2016 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. Sulak has co-edited the Rose Metal Press title, "Family Resemblance: An Anthology and Exploration of 8 Hybrid Literary Genres." She edits The Ilanot Review, hosts the TLV.1 radio podcast Israel in Translation, and is an associate professor of Literature at Bar-Ilan University.