I Didn’t Know It Was Possible to Lose the Language

Alma Katz

Translated from the Hebrew by Linda Zisquit


I dreamt of skin touching the sun

water dripping from the body

drying on the skin

imprinting textures

of dryness, of salt


I dreamt of a home you can move within

a contact I’m not suspicious of


I was never afraid

I wouldn’t have

what to eat or that

my parents wouldn’t

have what

to eat


I was afraid they would leave

me that they would lie

to me I was afraid of

the looks


I cried when I reached the water

I saw the sea

and it opened in me a silenced breather pipe

I haven’t breathed through it till now


Click HERE to read the Hebrew version of this work in Granta Hebrew

Alma Miryam Katz (1987) is a poet, anthropologist and editor, born in Tel Aviv. She is the co-editor of Granta magazine’s Hebrew online and print edition. Her book Pulse (2017) was published by Keshev publishing house for poetry. Her ethnographic research deals with WB Palestinian labor in Tel Aviv and Jaffa.

Linda Stern Zisquit has published five full-length collections of poetry, including Return from Elsewhere and Havoc: New & Selected Poems, as well as several volumes of translations from Hebrew poetry, including Wild Light: Selected Poems of Yona, for which she received an NEA Translation Grant and was shortlisted for the PEN Translation Award. For many years she was Poetry Coordinator for the MA in Creative Writing Program at Bar Ilan. She lives in Jerusalem, Israel.


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