Last Year in Jerusalem

Intro: up to 50 words (delete this text and enter your own)

Hungering for Jerusalem
I flew El Al to Israel.
The smells of Yemenite cuisine
from Falafel Hateimani
Just past the Ethiopian Embassy by the Street of the Prophets
(Rehov Hanevi’im) where Holman Hunt who painted
“The Scapegoat” built number 64
and pitta dipped in baba ganoush
from a pavement cafe on the Arab side
haunt my nostrils still.
At a café in the shade of Gehenna
I lunched on olives and hummus,
a sweet potato and prune tagine,
a demitasse of Al-Qahwa
and a glass too many Goldstars.
I ambled the ‘canyons’ of Givat Oranim,
greeting passers-by who avoided my eye.
“Salaam alaikum… Shalom… Lovely day… ”
No blame there –
a midday stranger –
plainly ‘shikker’ –
was safer treated as pariah.
A caterwaul of police whistles
encouraged my shamble
as waving my arms and walking cane
I stumbled the intersection
to the Valley of Gazelles
where I sprawled, 
resting my length
on a sun-bleached
scorching bench.
The gazelles are rarely seen.
I glimpsed a slender female,
camouflaged in her coat,
(white and opaque couché)
grazing a thicket of thorns.
I looked into her eyes,
deep into her eyes.
She looked away shyly,
a look not unfamiliar to me,
and I knew… that I knew… that
I knew that creature.
I had loved her a lifetime before,
when she was a girl.

© coolhermit 2023
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