Stones of Jerusalem
David Goldstein

Everyone lies about Jerusalem.   In a poem called "Stones of Jerusalem," there is only one
kind of stone, and it too is a liar.   In a poem called "Bonfires of West Jerusalem," black-
clad children celebrate the death of a wild old reconciler.   This morning, in a poem called
"Does the sun love Jerusalem?" a woman hung her wash.   Even with all the Dead Sea skin

care products, it's damned lonely in our part of the world, lonely as chromosomes. Once--
tell me the story again? -- we wandered into the poem "Pillars of smoke" and were blinded
by a cortex of ash. It doesn't count until someone cracks open their coffee and listens hard.
In a poem entitled "What the East Jerusalemite had for breakfast,"

there's not much more to go on:  a few wrinkled olives,  the world's most delicious
cucumber, two helpings of goat's milk yogurt. Current is supplied to the poem by the East
Jerusalem Power Company, Ltd.,  whose plant rusts on the road to Ramallah because it
buys its electricity from Israel. In the poem "Jerusalem's Refugee Camp," the water comes

from the middle of the night.  One poem always knew this, another one found this out, a
third was a UN escapee who spoke gibberish. An Israeli entered the camp in a poem called
"The most heavily armored car in the territories is a 1988 Subaru driven by a Palestinian."
When he came out, the women waved gaily, and left packages of fire on the back stoop.

David Goldstein holds have an M.A. in poetry writing from Johns Hopkins, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D.
at Stanford in English. His poems have appeared in Paris Review, Epoch, Shampoo, Watchword, and elsewhere.
Image: Jay Michaelson

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