Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Shira Stav

AUTHORITY

Sometimes I struggle to shift into first
when the light changes to green
like back then when puberty
didn't arrive until the end of ninth grade
(and who knows, that might yet save me from cancer)
and meanwhile the horns all around to high heaven
and sweat gathers in the folds
and the smell of failure fills the car
warm vapor covers the windshield
a herd of giraffes stampedes down the road,
raising clouds of dust, causing a commotion,
when I curse goddammit
recall how I was weeping, frightened
behind the closed bathroom door,
I swear to God I no longer believed it would come,
and how I became like any other,
a seeded child. And I arrest
my breath and labor to exert authority
over the finger stumps, to concentrate,
and push and shift into first,
and drive,
drive,
with the river of cars, under the sun.

מרות

מרות

לִפְעָמִים קָשֶׁה לִי לְהַכְנִיס לְרִאשׁוֹן
כְּשֶׁהָרַמְזוֹר מִתְחַלֵּף לְיָרֹק
כְּמוֹ פַּעַם כְּשֶׁהַבַּגְרוּת הַמִּינִית
הִתְעַכְּבָה עַד סוֹף כִּתָּה ט'
(וּמִי יוֹדֵעַ אוּלַי זֶה עוֹד יַצִּיל אוֹתִי מִסַּרְטָן)
וּבֵינְתַיִם כָּל הַצּוֹפָרִים מִסָּבִיב עַד לֵב שָׁמַיִם
וּפלְגֵי הַזֵּעָה נִקְוִים בַּקְּפָלִים  
וְרֵיחַ כִּשָּׁלוֹן מְמַלֵּא אֶת הָרֶכֶב
אֵדִים חַמִּים מְכַסִּים אֶת הַשִּׁמְשָׁה
עֵדֶר גִ'ירָפוֹת שׁוֹעֵט עַל הַכְּבִישׁ,
מַעֲלֵה עַנְנֵי אָבָק, מְחוֹלֵל מְהוּמָה
כְּשֶׁאֲנִי מְקַלֶּלֶת כּוּסְסְאֵמֵק
נִזְכֶּרֶת אֵיךְ יִלַּלְתִּי מְבֹהֶלֶת
מֵאֲחוֹרֵי הַדֶּלֶת הַסְּגוּרָה שֶׁל הַשֵּׁרוּתִים,
בֶּאֱלֹהִים שֶׁכְּבָר לֹא הֶאֱמַנְתִּי שֶׁזֶּה יַגִּיעַ,
וְאֵיךְ נַעֲשֵׂיתִי כְּכָל הָאָדָם,
יַלְדָּה זְרוּעָה. וַאֲנִי כּוֹלֵאת
אֶת הַנְּשִׁימָה וּמִתְאַמֶּצֶת לְהַטִּיל מָרוּת
עַל גִּדְמֵי הָאֶצְבָּעוֹת, לְהִתְרַכֵּז,
וְדוֹחֶפֶת וּמַכְנִיסָה לְרִאשׁוֹן,
וְנוֹסַעַת,
נוֹסַעַת,
עִם נְהַר הַמְּכוֹנִיּוֹת, תַּחַת הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ.
 
Close

AUTHORITY

Sometimes I struggle to shift into first
when the light changes to green
like back then when puberty
didn't arrive until the end of ninth grade
(and who knows, that might yet save me from cancer)
and meanwhile the horns all around to high heaven
and sweat gathers in the folds
and the smell of failure fills the car
warm vapor covers the windshield
a herd of giraffes stampedes down the road,
raising clouds of dust, causing a commotion,
when I curse goddammit
recall how I was weeping, frightened
behind the closed bathroom door,
I swear to God I no longer believed it would come,
and how I became like any other,
a seeded child. And I arrest
my breath and labor to exert authority
over the finger stumps, to concentrate,
and push and shift into first,
and drive,
drive,
with the river of cars, under the sun.

AUTHORITY

Sometimes I struggle to shift into first
when the light changes to green
like back then when puberty
didn't arrive until the end of ninth grade
(and who knows, that might yet save me from cancer)
and meanwhile the horns all around to high heaven
and sweat gathers in the folds
and the smell of failure fills the car
warm vapor covers the windshield
a herd of giraffes stampedes down the road,
raising clouds of dust, causing a commotion,
when I curse goddammit
recall how I was weeping, frightened
behind the closed bathroom door,
I swear to God I no longer believed it would come,
and how I became like any other,
a seeded child. And I arrest
my breath and labor to exert authority
over the finger stumps, to concentrate,
and push and shift into first,
and drive,
drive,
with the river of cars, under the sun.
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère