ROLLING THROUGH GIVATAYIM

GILI HAIMOVICH

TRANSLATED FROM THE HEBREW BY DARA BARNAT

Exiles supposedly of our own will
in a city that chose us
more than we her.
We went back and forth, answered and agonized, already built
to take apart the tower of vertebrae from its cartilage
along the hills of Givatayim.*
Her trees do not manage to glorify her,
rather to crumple her, her sidewalks, her shell,
and yet deeper,
her core,
into some sort of gray newspaper ball, muddled
that you can’t throw away
when the whole Middle East is one big certified trash can,
whose insides are fighting with its contents
and soon you’ll be poured out,
not like all the rivers that flow into the sea,
soon you’ll be dumped
into some cesspool **
of a mouth
of one of the men who cut you off here.


* Givatayim is a suburb of Tel Aviv whose name means “two hills.” In Hebrew, countries and cities take the feminine form, so Givatayim is referred to as “she.”
** The word “cesspool” is a translation of “giora,” Arabic slang for “sewer.”