Tuesday Poem


Something in me repeats in an obsessive beat
that I may have lost something
or left it behind
in the café or the bookstore
where I’d been
I searched my possessions
and no loss was found
nor did I discover what had been lost
but the loss
kept asserting its existence
through palpitations and minor fits
Athenian sophists philosophized:
“A thing you haven’t lost
is necessarily in your possession
you haven’t lost a tail—therefore, you have a tail
or vice versa
what you’ve lost was necessarily yours”
but what have I lost?
I must look for my loss
in order to know what I’m looking for
is it an object or a thing or the thing
and was it mine before it was lost
or is it that some inner authority
is trying to bequeath me, like a Hellenistic sophist,
something I had never possessed
as for example a chance
as if I ever stood a chance
by Mordechai Geldman
from Halachti Shanim Le-Tzidcha
publisher: Hakibbutz Hameuchad, Mossad Bialik, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, 2011
translation: 2013, Tsipi Keller