PoemsPRIVATE Writers

Dorit Weisman | Sarah

Title- Billboard I-40, Gallup, New Mexico / Location- Interstate 40, New Mexico, August 2016
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Of all the things in the ad what attracted me
Was the beauty of Sarah

And I stood there, or sat, today, Friday morning,
A winter sun warms me up in my purple clothes

As I’m crumbling some sharp smelling rosemary
Smelling like a Roman warrior

And the guide was talking about the scrolls and about
The religious laws of purity and of the war of the sons of light

Against the sons of darkness, and Sarah’s beauty
He did not mention

He answered my question and said her beauty
He could not repeat, better off with the original

But the original, it turns out, written
One thousand, nine hundred and fifty years before,

Will never be displayed. The scroll has turned black
And will not go on display.

In the year 73, Masada fell down
And all the time I’m thinking of Sarah

That came to fame only because

After she was waxed old she had pleasure

I’m thinking how her beauty remained hidden
Like the scroll, sealed as in an ossuary

And of our own beauty, how long
Will it remain sealed, hidden and crumbled.

(From PRIVATE 47 – ISREAEL, p. 36-37; Translation from Hebrew
by Rachel Yakobovitch)

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