Jerusalem — where the street’s name is my sister’s

photo by Breindy Klawansky
Courtesy of Breindy Klawansky.

Morning light is facing me

light that magnifies faraway

things into the steps right there.

I walk down watchfully

my suitcase wheels are jumping.

That does not matter.

I am here.

I don’t wish to wait

but the wait deepens

my wishes of getting

to the other side.

Things take long but

longness is enriched with eager

irrational excitedness. Why am I singing.

What makes my tunes different.

The only fear is not to be left

behind with the tourists.

I am not one who comes to explore

and watch.

I am the one being discovered,

the museum of lost thoughts.

The tie-dyed shirts stare.

That is how I want it.

My feet have blisters

from too many walks.

Re-walking too many little

lonely streets who wait for my toes

to say hello, I am well.

The windows drum lines that

pinch my cheeks.

I need to hear their voices.

What do the houseful children do

when there is nothing left

except for themselves.

I run and stop,

I’ve delved into a stone

too mouldy for my new shoes.

Black and white zigzags my brain

till everything becomes nightless.

That is when I know I’ve overtaken

the shortsighted puddles of plainness.

Every figure owns a stop.

Will they know if I stop too soon?

Where do I go.

Will lights turn red just for me.

I wonder?

The caps lock my knee.

I am towered with

dangling trees floating

in my hair.

The street’s name is my sister’s —

can anything be more close.

I forgot to think about that.

But when the trees start to sway,

something starts to swerve.

I cannot point out the turning point

of unbreakable air to wind.

The porch is locked — I imagine smashing it;

A locked porch is too heavy to look at.

The leaves have become the dirt.

I try to separate G-d things from others —

It doesn’t work.

Rules are sometimes right.

An alleyway stands on one leg,

how many feet have stopped there.

I can look into a cracked piece of

an ancient hatbox.

I stare at the owner, dancing on the platform

(I didn’t know before about hatboxes).

Nutshells strewn along dusty sidewalks.

When did they fall, and why do they matter.

Gold awaits me – tears me apart

into tiny scraps of writings. Can G-d fix me

or must I first notice

they’re handwritten.

I cannot look at this funny-looking wall.

Each brick is warped and unmatching.

I try to laugh; It’s a laugh that replaces

a gasp.

I walk.

Not slowly, just quick enough to

get there in time.

The few frightening womens’ cries

are overcrowding my sight.

I can peep — just enough to pray

and then I run backwards

overdosed with saintliness.

What can I do to keep this —

probably nothing.

I fall over my legs.

I need something to pull me up

the aching, echoing, slipping steps.

But it’s not only me.

All my brothers are waiting.

Walking on wooden legs,

withering in wonder.

When is it time to re-enter.

About the Author
Breindy Klawansky is a musician and poet living in Hyde Park, Johannesburg. She has an honours in visual and performing arts from Wits university and her 2nd album Ruth Ave was nominated for best alternative album at the Sama's. She is married to producer, Matthew Klawansky and has three children.
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