January 20, 2011, Gan Meir, Tel Aviv

Caffe Dante in New York-3

In front of the big window, they’re digging a pit in the street,
The shame of the earth is revealed in the open,
Like a drunkard, with torn clothes, dirty.
A surveyor puts his binoculars
On her thin legs and measures straight lines
Through everything, as through an empty desert.
And a young woman at a nearby table
Said to another woman: “I got a small part
In a new play: to enter the room,
Pass through it and exit the other side.”
She said this and got up to go.

Stay here, stay here near me.
Stay at least until one prophecy is fulfilled.
But she left, and I stayed. Half the cake
On my plate and half inside me.
The spoon fell on the floor.

Sometimes a man bends to pick up something
That fell out of his hand, when he gets up,
The world has changed.

Yehuda Amichai

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