Translated by Ivón Gordon Vailakis
The Jewish Immigrant
I go farther than the west wind
and the storm petrel.
I stop, I question, I walk
and I do not sleep for walking.
They sliced me from the earth,
they have left me only the sea.
Home, tradition, and household gods
stayed behind in the village.
Linden trees, and marshes fall behind
like the Rhine that taught me to speak.
In my breasts I do not carry mint
whose scent makes me weep.
I only carry my breath
and my blood and my eagerness.
I am two. One with my back turned
and another who faces the sea:
My nape swarms with goodbyes,
and my chest with eagerness.
Now the stream from my village
no longer babbles my name
from my land and the air I am vanished
like a footprint in the sand.
At every step of the way
I start losing my strength:
a swarm of resins,
a tower, a grove of oaks.
My hands lose the motion
of making cider and bread
and with my memory gone away
naked I will arrive at the sea!