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A Biblical Experience

Yesterday I saw the Prophet Jonah
emerge from behind the filthy garage
near the stadium, in the Jaffa mud:
I stood peeing on the wide scorched
leaves of a castor-oil plant; all around me lay
a once-pure dune defeated by the effluent
of burnt oil, and foul fumes masked
the gleam of water. A tremor went through me
as I shook myself dry; a tremor that came
to me straight from the sea, like the flash of
a fin, opposite the entrance to the port, under
the unwatchful eye of a darkened lighthouse,
and the Prophet Jonah, melting into the sand.

(Translated from the Hebrew by Cindy Eisner)


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