Fall 2018Poetry

“In the Negev” – Adina Kopinsky

I
Shards of celadon wilt from stem to crown,
the ravine arches its back
as tears shiver on eyelashes
and sweat scatters in the dust.
The leaves of maluach burst with minerals. Can life
be borne in salt, in sunlight, in cracked lips and throats
longing for the January rain? Ve’omer
lach be’damai’ich chai’yee—veins of sand
stretch-marked on leaves, birth themselves
out of nothing but hope and hibernation.

II
The Negev smells like twilight—yafruk dots a vine,
sprinkles long brambles, twists out of roots,
fingers skeletal and beckoning.
I brush a green bulb no bigger than the pupil of my eye, a fleck
of sand, a single knot. Tiny verdure,
what are you doing in this barren land?
I cradle your curled body in my palm.
When I press you, you seep colostrum golden and thick.

III
Now a thicket of thorns;
how the kali smells like caul—
curls inside the cold months,
its breath slowed to extinction. Brown blooms
of sand, once a belly of green leaves, once
wind-blown seeds woven, once lotus blossoms
lingering in the afterbirth—a tangled cord
kaleidoscopes the earth
as the limestone marbles with memory.


Author Bio: Adina Kopinsky is an emerging poet living in Israel with her husband and three sons. She has work published or forthcoming in “Carbon Culture Review,” “The Sunlight Press,” and “Ink & Nebula.”

The author: Mike Robbins