Try this one on your tongue: “the poetry of the enemy”
If you read it will you succumb

Will the enemy’s wren fly through your window
and circle your room

Will you smell the herbs hung to dry in the house
he has had to rebuild in words

Would you weaken your will to hear
riffs of the instruments he loves

rustling of rivers remembered
where faucets are dry

“The enemy’s water” is there a phrase
for that in your language?

And you what do you write
now in your abandoned house tuned in

to the broadcasts of horror
under a sagging arbor, dimdumim

do you grope for poetry
to embrace all this

—not describe, embrace staggering
in its arms, Jacob-and-angel-wise?

Do you understand why I want your voice?
At the seder table it’s said

you reclined and said nothing
now in the month of Elul is your throat so dry

your dreams so stony
you wake with their grit in your mouth?

There was a beautiful life here once
Our enemies poisoned it?

Make a list of what’s lost but don’t
call it a poem

that’s for the scriptors of nostalgia
bent to their copying-desks

Make a list of what you love well
Twist it insert it

into a bottle of old Roman glass
go to the edge of the sea

at Haifa where the refugee ships lurched in
and the ships of deportation wrenched away

haggadah Section: Introduction
Source: Stanza's II and III from Adrienne Rich's "Collaborations" in "shock and awe: war on words"