Translated by Jiordan Castle Over the years, this exercise in persuasion becomes miserable. Fed up from listening to so much, shut them down, shut them all down, shut them all down now. The truth is, a man is a man only when he stands up on his own two feet, but this man is bent, down, as though walking against a strong wind; but anyway, stature is not measured in inches. While politicians rarely move from their chair, you will learn: a body at rest will remain at rest forever, legs crossed, the right foot on the left side and sometimes the other way around. Other times, they stand or lean forward at the podium, the mouth tilts toward the microphone, then the look at the camera. We have to ask ourselves, where are the hands? You begin to feel the burning in your chest (the feeling of suffocation always comes in waves), then the fog, and the last one, the head, its strong thud against the floor.
The Wandering Jew
Translated by Jiordan Castle I thought of the slack, quiet man, a wandering Jew, who came to the land (mother said they arrived on a ship named Jerusalem). I thought about him, an old Jew— now he is a picture in my head, sitting on a swing in the yard— resting in the silence of the desert, and the flies, his flesh, alive, blood in his veins, still. I thought of the wandering Jew slumped in me, sitting in my chair, in the office, wandering, looking for a solution for me.
Translated by Mari Pack In the garden beside the Carmel Market, I see: crows eating the carcass of a pigeon under the shade of the trees African refugees waiting to be hired for work at the station old women hitched to their shopping trollies next to the swings children play on fake rubber grass. From: we’ll work tomorrow, Tangier Publishing, Hebrew, 2014
What They Say in Conference Rooms
Translated by Mari Pack They say: we beg your pardon, Tehila and then speak in a unified voice. They say: cover your ears and they speak in men’s words. They say: close your eyes and they all use the same sentences. They speak in a military cadence and ask for my forgiveness. They speak words, that they practiced within tanks. When women are scarce, they use sentences to define areas to create enclosed spaces they leave us with only two options to join them or to close our ears. They smile confidently talk with their hands on the table but I am not shutting my ears or my eyes until we flip the table upside down. From: we’ll work tomorrow, Tangier Publishing, Hebrew, 2014
Tehila Hakimi is a Hebrew poet and fiction writer. She was a participant of the 2018 Fulbright International Writing Program Fellowship in The University of Iowa. For her first collection of poetry [We’ll Work Tomorrow, 2014] she received the 2015 Bernstein Prize for Literature. She published a graphic novel [In the Water] and a collection of novellas [Company] with Resling (2018). Hakimi is a mechanical engineer by profession.