By Micaela Sahhar
 
Shrinking
Policing over the possible, Dagan, I
note down now how you would note
rumours as facts. Surveying a space where
(it was said) the dead (even then) had
no land, as those who still made sound
scooped trenches for an olive grove
whose massive roots heaved like a pod
 
of whales, beached. I saw the tightness
of their skins on television. Around
the foreign bodies you kept moving (heeding
how a resting shark will drown) This is
a de-construction of facticity you said,
burning objects as like as people
who flock yet, vaporous through prostrated trees.
 
 
8 Asa Street, Greek Colony
(on my father’s restoration)
 
Now I am here, beneath the centenarian wires
of bougainvillea, I pass into the era of my spectre-hood.
Despite your divestments, systematic (grouted tiles)
 
sometimes rageful (half stripped papering) even
from across the street, that I, can line the house against
each gutting, with the seismic breath of a memory
 
(its recital a Stradivarius). These things you can’t see, 
but sensed, the day you invited a side-walk letterer
to depict on our gate pillar, this way to the bomb shelter.
 
*     *     *
 
Published June 5, 2010 in The Age, “Shrinking” appeared at the same time as the Mavi Marmara sailed to Gaza, though the poem was written a year earlier as Sahhar was researching operation Cast Lead for her doctoral degree. 
“8 Asa Street, Greek Colony” is about visiting her family home in West Jerusalem. It was published in Southerly, vol. 73, no. 2, 2013.
For more information on Sahhar, read here.