Translated from the Hebrew of Dov Ben-Zamir
by David Solway (March 2019)
Ernest, Roeland Kneepkens, 2013
I can’t be sure that You’re there
to receive this letter
but I’m writing anyway,
just in case.
I’m writing to forgive You
for the distance You keep
from the toiling multitudes
like some reclusive billionaire
in a castle in remotest Scotland,
and to forgive You
for the cruelty of Your indifference
and also the great anger
You have been reputed to indulge—
notice that I capitalize my pronouns,
just in case.
And yet I have always admired You,
indeed, regarded You with awe and trepidation.
More than that,
I have always loved You,
not as I have loved my friends,
few and far between,
and not as I have loved my women,
many and close-packed,
for neither my friends nor my women
might have saved me
from the inevitable disaster
of my flawed, desiring self,
subject to the ruthless dominatrix of Time
and the drug lords of the Underworld,
from my excesses and addictions
which are legion.
I have loved You as the only One
Who might forgive me
the minor devastations I have wrought
as I forgive You
the major devastations you have permitted.
Let bygones be bygones.
What’s done is done.
Let us be mutual in tautology.
But between You and me,
if You are not there
to receive this letter,
or even to dismiss it as a trivial irritation,
know this for a fact.
If You do not exist
I will never,
and I mean never,
David Solway is a Canadian poet and essayist. His most recent volume of poetry, The Herb Garden, appeared in spring 2018 with Guernica Editions. A partly autobiographical prose manifesto, Reflections on Music, Poetry & Politics, was released by Shomron Press in spring 2016. A CD of his original songs, Blood Guitar and Other Tales, appeared in 2016. Solway’s current projects include work on a second CD, The Book of Love, with his pianist wife Janice Fiamengo and writing for major American political sites such as PJ Media, American Thinker and WorldNetDaily.
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