Until Further Notice

Until Further Notice
by Marcela Sulak

As the antennae at the military base at the bottom of Weizman Street quiver
    at what’s coming on the air and across the water 

As the awkwardness of the unnecessary apology waits to be acknowledged

As the breakfast dishes yawn and roll over in the sink

As the black chicken in the ficus tree on Yehuda Hamakabi Street
    waits for the twilight to fluff itself into weather

As the clothing in the shop owned by the cat-and-chicken lady waits to be changed
    into laundry

As the leaf crumbs and paper scraps and doll shoes and checker pieces wait to be found
    in the crease of the second-hand black velveteen sofa

As my daughter waits to be noticed in the clear waters of the bath tub
    and handed the soap

As the evening waits, for school has ended, and we must walk along the river and eat
    dinner and read and bathe and go to bed

As the frangipani blades spin down and wait to be lifted into plastic cups and set
    on the table before someone steps, as their edges brown

As the guinea pig waits to be noticed among her crows and whistles
    and dropped a handful of hay 

As for the habit that waits for its proper time and for its eventual departure

As for as the Haredi family posing so temptingly on the river bank across from the high-
    school girls experimenting with their sexual orientation in the reeds 

As for the holidays that wait for their costumes and candy and cooking and prayers and
    the air that waits to mediate between our mouths and God’s ear

As I wait with Vanessa in the café for the waiter to notice we are ready to go home and     
    he doesn’t because there is a bowl of sautéed mushrooms and tomatoes at his
    elbow, with caramelized onions

As the judge awaits the terms of our mediation 

As Kansas waits for us to notice that where we are is not in it

As the laundry in the basket waits to be shed of its dailiness
    and I place it in the unanchored washing machine to shake across the
    workroom balcony, then drain and be hung in full view of the neighbors 

As my legs wait to be taken for a walk and the sun is stretching and the grasses blow
    and the river is still as a polished shield which, like courtesy, deflects the arrows of
    resentment.

As for the lovely narcissi that sit uncomplaining among their bulbs and miniaturely bloom,
    I admit that I do not notice them much

As the metaphor goes, most days are gastropods with a single shoe to drop

As the neighbor and her children move below among the fluffs of new dryer-dried clothes
    and the gleam of wooden, genderless toys

As the secretary offered me water, and I was confused because I hadn’t been crying

As the see-thru plastic cup waits to be noticed under the table in the kitchen
   and I do not bend to pick it up

As the poppies wait in their overblown clouds dropping petals on the table 

As the runes of dust made by the chairs pulled across the floor wait to be read and then
    erased

As for the solitary sidewalk smoker standing before many moonrises and sunsets and star
    sprinkles and drizzle, keeping his eyes at shoulder level

As the sidewalk cracks await skates

As we await the Sunday phone call from the dental secretary canceling the Tuesday
    appointment each week because Dr. Halperin isn’t feeling well, until the
    week I screw up the courage to ask how he is and if we should find another
    dentist, and how to ask, and she hesitates and answers, yes, in a quavering voice

As the tiny sparrows bounce across the balcony and between the parted French doors.

As the explosive undergarments on the Gaza burn patient in the poem by Sharron Hass
    that I am translating wait to be noticed at the checkpoint.

As the voting booths wait to embrace each one of us in civic secrecy

As the West Bank waits for its fate to be decided

As thumbprints on ink have replaced the X

As you are here, right now, at the end of this poem, Hello


marcela-side.jpg

Marcela Sulak is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Decency. She’s also translated four collections of poetry from the Hebrew, Czech, and French. She directs the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar-Ilan University, hosts the TLV.1 radio podcast “Israel in Translation” and is an editor at The Ilanot Review and at Tupelo Quarterly.  To learn more, please visit marcelasulak.com.


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