Tuesday Poem

Ministers In Charge Of Individuals

we have no parents no children no flesh-and-blood
loves we have no homes we have god
we haven’t got him in the sky and not in the depths not
in stones we have no prophets we have no teachers
we have no permitted books no forbidden
books we have god we don’t love him
we don’t hate him we aren’t friendly with him
we have nothing but “I” nothing but self
we are the ministers of individuals

by Benjamin Shvili
from Shiray ha tie-ar hagadol
publisher: Schocken, Tel Aviv, 1999

translation: Lisa Katz, 2012