What Was I Even Thinking?

woman with backpack facing a wintry lake and mountains

After “In the Middle of This Century,” by Yehuda Amichai

August is a slowly aging woman,
like Av a two-faced month,
leading the way to fall and renewal,
to the end of the summer I thought
this one would be—
then again, what kind of summer
did I even think this one would be?

A summer that would last all but three weeks,
the last before the long goodbye
to my tanned flesh and mortal hips,
to songs we might have sung,
to a white moon in the Levant.

Wild geese are flying and the cicada
in the tree outside my window
sings louder, early.
I hear of comfort happening to people.

The prophet saw the shatnez of our mingling,
lost in translation and desire –
too many years between us,
your innate journeys into other lands.

You want to leave in peace.
I want to write your name with love.
I want to speak in praise of your transient face
that I touched when you were near
with full eyes, for a short while.

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