My tongue is stuck
to the roof of my mouth.
I cannot speak.
I have forgotten . . .

No. I remember
a wall with papers
stuffed into crevices,
black caftaned,
fur-capped,
fringe-robed
men & boys.

Women on the other side
—mechitza—separate.

Streets labyrinthine,
winding through
memories of visitors:
Those who came to see.
Those who came to conquer.
Those who came to wander.
Those who came to destroy.
Those who came to study.
those who came to claim
and counterclaim.


My right arm
still has its cunning,
and so I write
but cannot speak.


Copyright ©  Adel Gorgy 2009 Photograph Remembrance   after Degas  (The Dance Class)
   Cross-Cultural Communications Art & Poetry Series Broadsides # 2
Immagine & Poesia
Adel Gorgy  Contemporary Photography
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Abstracting Abstraction

I cannot shout
from the tops of minarets,
cannot go up & down a ladder
with other angels.


I have a mark on my thigh
as a sign that something
took place
—then—but not now.

I struggle
through a mist of memory . . .
move my right arm
up & down,
extend my fingers,
stretch my toes,
swing my hips
from side to side,
turn my head
around and around.

But still I cannot speak.
My tongue cleaves
to the top of my mouth.

Something it is
that I’ve forgotten . . .


Stanley H. Barkan

FORGETTING JERUSALEM