June 06

Waters of

David Goldstein

We were doing the pajama dance, throwing our arms up in the air and singing Ay-yay-yay-yay-yay! when Waters of Jerusalem called. We were watching surrealist movies, learning West African cuisine, were entering an all-night birthday haze, when Waters of Jerusalem began to call on the little red phone, calling us back at all the worst times, call us back.

First the small pools called: the ritual baths of the Herodian quarter, dry for two thousand years. Then the secret pools: Pool of Siloam, tunnel of Hezekiah, whose water still hides from the Assyrians. The fountain of Al-Kas lists its cisterns, but its water no longer satisfies the ablutions of its people. The Sultan’s Pools called, and the Pool of Mamilla.

The cistern of Spring House longs for Jeremiah the prophet, wants him chained again in her depths. The Valleys of Jehosophat and Kidron are an intermittent river. The Spring of Gihon ponders its twisted pomegranates, its departed flocks. Faucets of West Jerusalem, leaking water from Turkey and shrapnel from Jenin, faucets of East Jerusalem, running without hope.

So we switched the song to Messiah and we go. The women of Jerusalem swear by the wild field doe not to rouse us until we are cleansed. Your sweetness is the sweetness of a bee on a journey, and I follow you along its old walls. Light my way like a bee, bring me to Waters of Jerusalem, which are not to be forgotten. Thrive in me, flock of my heart, my love.


Image: Adam Lavitt