Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Shira Stav

BIOTOPE

I grew up in a no-talking family
in a house where they raise a face thick and carry it
like a cover, the features turn inward, eyes stare at
the cracks on the scalp, a mouth chews the jaw cavity,
ears dive, the cortex stiffens and freezes
as if facing an attack, I grew up in a no-comment family,
pecan shells resting
on corneas, the tongue saved
for other opportunities. Words sprouting growths
you must prune and subdue or teeth
will bite from within. I grew up in a no-moving family
in a house where an old sofa waits on every wall
for you to sink into and plant your face
into the armrest for a long, vegetative sleep
until the skin is covered with scales and armor
and a deep silence. I grew up in a no-memory family that doesn’t remember
how time passes by and doesn’t come back, doesn’t
ask, doesn’t answer, forgets,
forgets the waiting, the presents, forgets
the apple tree, forgets the keys, forgets
the pot on the stove and the food is burning,
the pot is burning but the house isn’t burning, the house
isn’t burning yet.

ביוטופ

ביוטופ

גָּדַלְתִּי בְּמִשְׁפַּחַת לֹא מְדַבְּרִים
בְּבַיִת שֶׁבּוֹ מְגַדְּלִים אֶת הַפָּנִים לָעֹבִי וְנוֹשְׂאִים
כְּמִכְסֶה, הַתָּוִים פּוֹנִים פְּנִימָה, עֵינַיִם מַבִּיטוֹת אֶל
סִדְקֵי הַקַּרְקֶפֶת, פֶּה לוֹעֵס אֶת חֲלַל הַלֶּסֶת,
אָזְנַיִם צוֹלְלוֹת, קוֹרְטֶקְס מִתְקַשֵּׁחַ וְקוֹפֵא
כְּמוֹ לִקְרַאת מִתְקָפָה. גָּדַלְתִּי בְּמִשְׁפַּחַת
אֵין תְּגוּבָה, קְלִפּוֹת פֶּקָאן מֻנָּחוֹת
עַל הַקַּרְנִיּוֹת, אֶת הַשָּׂפָה שׁוֹמְרִים
לְהִזְדַּמְּנֻיּוֹת אֲחֵרוֹת. מִלִּים מַצְמִיחוֹת גִּדּוּלִים,
עָלַיִךְ לִגְזֹם וּלְהַדְמִים אוֹ שֶׁהַשִּׁנַּיִם
יִנְשְׁכוּ מִבִּפְנִים. גָּדַלְתִּי בְּמִשְׁפַּחַת אֵין תְּנוּעָה
בְּבַיִת שֶׁבּוֹ בְּכָל קִיר מַמְתִּינָה לָךְ
סַפָּה יְשָׁנָה לִשְׁקֹעַ אֶל תּוֹכָהּ וְלִכְבֹּש אֶת פָּנַיִךְ
בַּמִּסְעָד לְתַרְדֶּמֶת דְּמוּמָה, אֲרֻכָּה,
עַד שֶׁהָעוֹר יִתְכַּסֶּה קַשְׂקַשִּׂים וְשִׁרְיוֹן
וּשְׁתִיקָה עֲמֻקָּה. גָּדַלְתִּי בְּמִשְׁפַּחַת לֹא זוֹכְרִים
אֵיךְ יָמִים עוֹבְרִים וְלֹא חוֹזְרִים לֹא
שׁוֹאֲלִים, לֹא מְשִׁיבִים, שׁוֹכְחִים,
שׁוֹכְחִים אֶת הַהַמְתָּנוֹת, אֶת הַמַּתָּנוֹת, שׁוֹכְחִים אֶת
עֵץ הַתַּפּוּחַ שׁוֹכְחִים אֶת הַמַּפְתְּחוֹת, שׁוֹכְחִים
אֶת הַסִּיר עַל הָאֵשׁ וְהָאֹכֶל נִשְׂרָף
הַסִּיר נִשְׂרָף אֲבָל הַבַּיִת לֹא נִשְׂרָף, הַבַּיִת
לֹא נִשְׂרַף עֲדַיִן.
 
Close

BIOTOPE

I grew up in a no-talking family
in a house where they raise a face thick and carry it
like a cover, the features turn inward, eyes stare at
the cracks on the scalp, a mouth chews the jaw cavity,
ears dive, the cortex stiffens and freezes
as if facing an attack, I grew up in a no-comment family,
pecan shells resting
on corneas, the tongue saved
for other opportunities. Words sprouting growths
you must prune and subdue or teeth
will bite from within. I grew up in a no-moving family
in a house where an old sofa waits on every wall
for you to sink into and plant your face
into the armrest for a long, vegetative sleep
until the skin is covered with scales and armor
and a deep silence. I grew up in a no-memory family that doesn’t remember
how time passes by and doesn’t come back, doesn’t
ask, doesn’t answer, forgets,
forgets the waiting, the presents, forgets
the apple tree, forgets the keys, forgets
the pot on the stove and the food is burning,
the pot is burning but the house isn’t burning, the house
isn’t burning yet.

BIOTOPE

I grew up in a no-talking family
in a house where they raise a face thick and carry it
like a cover, the features turn inward, eyes stare at
the cracks on the scalp, a mouth chews the jaw cavity,
ears dive, the cortex stiffens and freezes
as if facing an attack, I grew up in a no-comment family,
pecan shells resting
on corneas, the tongue saved
for other opportunities. Words sprouting growths
you must prune and subdue or teeth
will bite from within. I grew up in a no-moving family
in a house where an old sofa waits on every wall
for you to sink into and plant your face
into the armrest for a long, vegetative sleep
until the skin is covered with scales and armor
and a deep silence. I grew up in a no-memory family that doesn’t remember
how time passes by and doesn’t come back, doesn’t
ask, doesn’t answer, forgets,
forgets the waiting, the presents, forgets
the apple tree, forgets the keys, forgets
the pot on the stove and the food is burning,
the pot is burning but the house isn’t burning, the house
isn’t burning yet.
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