from I Foretell the Days of Yore
by Chana Bloch and Chana Kronfeld, translating from the Hebrew by Yehuda Amichai

copyright © 2000 by Chana Bloch and Chana Kronfeld


The flight attendants of the next millennium came to me and said:
You can still get a seat on the third millennium before liftoff.
Come with us, dead or alive, we’ll take you along. We have no malice,
no defenses, but we’re strong and mobile as constellations,
our eyes are closed but we can see.
We are women who glide between life and death.
You with your seat belts and gear belts and buckles that click shut,
you, sir, you with the noise of a door closing,
we with our voices of glide and whisper.
Our belts are not for safety or holding up our clothes,
they are snakes, they are not decoration. Gliding spirals,
we are acrobats looping the loops of wish and would.
You with your warm worries and emotions
heavy as cow dung in the field,
you with the sweat of your death like an afterlife perfume.