Chagall’s lovers fell down upon the fence.
When a child, they were the only ongoing song,
not much music was left inside me to dance to,
my youth had gone to die in the silence of war.
Though my mother’s body shook the ground,
collapsing, nobody blinked a lid. It seemed
love rushed inside her like a hundred
hunted birds — violence within violence within —
A matryoshka doll in a crimson shawl.
I left for Bosnia full of that useless knowledge
when the whole of Europe was burning Red
when there was no time to grieve for a dove
and only wingless lovers repeated its flight.
I was barely twenty — I saw so many men
Most loved sex but hated women
On rooftops, they lay down with a gun.
Years later, when the war was over
I came to your city of tramways blue
But it didn’t matter if I had forgiven you
You left me alone with the little Jew.
Goats, violins, fishes whirled in the air
Canvas the size of giant doors calling
me in, mauves, purples, I had seen
as far as I could recall. And the lovers
— the lovers.
Clarity. Clarity. No escape, no restraint
from shouting their joy on top of the city,
well, you fixed other rules — with them
I fell dead to the earth. The violin droped.
— And what was my childhood to you ?