To Yehuda Amichai


We were walking by the Labor Party Office

one night on Hayarkon Street.

The lights were on,

and you said, “They are choosing

the ministers for the new government.

I should go in and tell them

they need me as the Minister of Poetry.”

We walked on instead

to read at the American Embassy


There was a large crowd there,

drinks and little sandwiches,

a contextualizing speech by some professor

with someone important mentioning

something about a shortlist

for the big prize


and then the evening was over.


But you remain, for me,

from that night on


the Minister of Poetry.





It looks something like a vague train station,

but very smooth and in a dream.

And they have met here for the first time –

my dear aunt Chasha who died this morning,

and my Minister of Poetry, Yehuda Amichai,

who too has now been freed. They are on their way

to the most special part of heaven,

the site reserved for colossal souls

that incorporate everyone into their lives

and love and love and never deny

the ardor of others.

But their conversation is quite plain, a little mundane.

Perhaps they are talking about the times they never met

at Sloan-Kettering, and how they were born in the same year,

in the same world that vanished into their memories

and how felicitous to make each other’s acquaintance

now, as they are about to broaden the range of their embrace.