God's Hand in the World


God’s hand is in the world
like my mother’s hand in the guts of the slaughtered chicken on Sabbath eve.
What does God see through the window
while his hands reach into the world?
What does my mother see?


My pain is already a grandfather:
it has begotten two generations
of pains that look like it.
My hopes have erected white housing projects
far away from the crowds inside me.
My girlfriend forgot her love on the sidewalk
like a bicycle. All night outside, in the dew.
Children mark the eras of my life
and the eras of Jerusalem
with moon chalk on the street.
God’s hand in the world.

—translations by Stephen Mitchell