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Graves

1
In a stone forest of
barely legible words
the trees whisper your greeting:
‘your unexpected existence
is without guilt –
not because, but despite
is what you are
feel welcome in our dead midst
living sprout
from a trunk presumed dead’.

2
I wanted to embrace and kiss them,
the cold sorrowful stones:
‘here I am, finally
I found you
in the maze of time’

there was no embrace
only the tips of my fingers
touched the rough hard skin
the underworld awoke
with a startled smile

after so many years, a voice!
the cool silence colours
in the shadowy depths
women with sheytls,
men in caftans shiver

my longing cannot bring back
the stones to life nor the ashes
the nameless not far from here
within the refuge of these ravaged walls

never before was I this close
each step pushes the distance along
my voice brings forth only silence
a last powerless look
I turn and leave.

3
the tender cracks sing
a long forgotten song
fear sinks deep –
in the awaiting ground
an unspoken question

how strange am I how close
to these ancestral graves –
will they mourn me or
refuse to speak my name,
still curse me?

will their curse damn me,
bring me to my knees
or make me revolt –
do I have to be like you,
because, because, because
and then?

how close am I how strange
to your perished world
but still –
our longing drives me
to this transparent dusk:
in vain?

4
While I softly caress the stone, the same
as she whose name I bear
she who died nameless
and sleeps without a name
while I softly caress this stone
the fog dissolves for a moment
time becomes transparent
then and later and now
the voice of the Eternal
sings in my head.

5
In this place
far away from the world
enclosed by walls
sprigs of ivy nurse
the stones and the dead
hidden like Your love
without beginning or end.

6
Small stone on big stone
salt tear in sweet pond
flesh of your flesh
if –
if I lay me down here, stretch
arms, legs on the soft ground
my roots will grow into the earth
reach out –
but never reach.

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