I wrote about this poem a few months ago. I think about it often. Not only for its brilliant overall quality but also for the stunning impact of its last line. That denouement always sends a strange chill up my spine. When I read this poem's conclusion, remembered things and forgotten things collapse into an ineffable singularity.
"Only, I don't believe in Apocalypses. I believe in Apocatastases. Apo-cata-stasis. What it means:
1) Restoration, re-establishment, renovation. 2) Return to a previous condition.
3) (Astronomy) Return to the same apparent position, completion of a period of revolution"
Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean / Signal To Noise
I am remembering a record of a children's story. The swan freezes or is forgotten
or dies of loneliness. I am seven and the pain wounds me
each time it's played.
Summer is ending right now. A fan turns slowly,
propelling the air that's cooling outside the window.
The sound of a deep, distant thunder gargles above the city that darkened early,
I live one hour backward.
My rain forests are piling up on the table.
As long as I shall read them
I will not die.
The swan freezes or dies of loneliness
and I breathe shallow breaths, growing to a medium size
and kick the transparent door of actuality. Behind it is the blooming garden of emotions;
my little hell.
Maybe there was no swan. But something in that story got left behind
and Death sat with Autumn on the spinning vinyl disc
like two mice, silently.
Right now, summer is reaching its end. The fan keeps stubbornly
turning back the pages.
There, in the white condensed space before the first word,
from the book Unknown Sea (2011)
Copyright © Yael Tomashov-Hollander
This poem translated from Hebrew by Shir Freibach