Two poems by Stav Poleg

Birth

Again I was dreaming, but it wasn’t just me.
There were all the creatures, incognito, the sky and sea unseparated,

and the skilfully miscast protagonists, running towards or away from each other.
You ask who I was? I wasn’t

him, or her, or the one who tricked her into it, using consonants and vowels. And even
though it was my dream, I wasn’t the one turning the world, or

whatever-it-was, upon them, saying: if this is what you really wish for, you may as well
match it with words.

I was the apple. The wrong and right, the bad and good, the all rounded
world-in-a-palm-of-your-hand, someone’s

hand. I can’t recall who held me first, or second,
to find out I was all-rounded, but God, miles away from complete. To fall

with nothing but blood-soaked skin, high-pitched and hungry,
pulled and pushed and trying to curl as round as I’d known, until I completely

forgot, was that according to the plan? Or was there a plan? Or an apple? No one said
it was ever an apple, or that if it was, it was

falling, heavy with knowledge, into so many shaken arms
and hands.

(first published in The Rialto, Autumn 2011)
 
 
Leaving London

Once again, it’s last year’s summer.
Outside, the city cities air and air

of traffic daylight and some skies. We sit upstairs
and watch the window open like an open

question. We talk of leaving and leaving but
it feels like paper plans, the kind of plans

that aren’t supposed to last the summer,
which, once again, is here. But it’s November,

and we let the rain’s staccato
and the wind of outside’s proper winter

try out the glass. Our first visit since we left,
we’re almost tourists but unlike tourists,

there’s this feeling we could take the Northern
Line back home. In fact, we walk

as if we feel at home in what
they call King’s Cross St. Pancras,

Euston road, Charing Cross, whichever
of this city’s intensities pulls or pushes

us like paper-cups, back here, where even
the rain falls into place. Look,

I start to realise last year’s summer
is going to roundabout for some time,

until I’m ready to leave it here, where
I tried to put our things in clear-cut bubble

wrap or recycled papers or anything,
but everything closed and open-ended.

Back at King’s Cross, an extra shot to-go,
I tell myself it’s us who chose to leave,

but as we take the train away from the cities of London,
I feel, again, as if the city’s leaving me.

(First published in Horizon Review , Autumn 2011)
 
 
Stav Poleg’s poetry has appeared in magazines such as The Rialto, Magma, Poetry Wales and
Gutter. Her graphic novel shorts Dear Penelope (with artist Laura Gressani) has been
acquired recently by the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

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