Jerusalem Light

By YEHUDIT BEN-ZVI HELLER

 

With burning eyes
she rose before dusk
the mountains beneath her
and all the hills
filling like window panes with liquid suns

 

In this hour
she lights her towers
like candles
or perhaps after blessing the fire

she has raised her hands
to cover her face with light

 

Co-translated by the poet and Agha Shahid Ali

 

 

Yehudit Ben-Zvi Heller is the author of Ha’isha Beme’il Sagol (The Woman in the Purple Coat), Kan Gam Bakayitz Hageshem Yored (Here, Even in the Summer It Rains), and Mehalekhet al Khut shel Mayim (Pacing on a Thread of Water).

Agha Shahid Ali (1949-2001) was born in New Delhi and grew up in Kashmir. He published more than ten volumes of poems and translations during his lifetime, including Rooms Are Never Finished, a finalist for the National Book Award in 2001.

Click here to purchase Issue 01

Jerusalem Light

Related Posts

Image of a statue of a woman wearing a dress in white against a beige background, cover of Ama Codjoe's poetry collection.

September 2022 Poetry Feature: Ama Codjoe—from BLUEST NUDE

AMA CODJOE
When my mother was pregnant, she drove / every night to the Gulf of Mexico. / Leaving her keys and a towel on the shore, / she waded into the surf. Floating / naked, on her back, turquoise waves / hemming her ears, she allowed / the water to do the carrying.

The Longkau’s Name (Excerpt from DAKOTA)

WONG KOI TET
The body of water that runs by the neighborhood is in fact a river, but everyone used to call it longkau— a storm drain. The Hokkien word has a crispier edge than the Mandarin longgou. Calling it a river would require a proper name, a division into upstream and down. Nobody knew about that stuff, so we went with what was the easiest.

outside of a courtroom

The Influence of Bloodline

NAIVO
The first time I tried to see Judge Florence, I employed the same strategy as most petitioners: I camped out at the entrance to the courthouse in the administrative district next to the lake in the capital to try and grab her as she walked in. But that just showed my ignorance.