Poems by Tahel Frosh

Translated from the Hebrew by Yosefa Raz


This Is What Happened


until I was thrown against the gate I didn’t know there was a gate
and when I did know I still waited and peeled oranges
and ate them, and waited
I looked so hard that a spider wove its web in my eye
and I twirled around on those tiles and broke my head
and broke the small bones
I lay down on thorns as big as sunflowers; it was comfortable
I chewed words with sugar


this is what happened


at night a man loved me and in the morning he disappeared with all my teeth
I needed to grow new ones
and I wanted to use them only for peanut butter and jelly
my stomach grew tall and I birthed loaves of bread
I was proud of it all
I stood before the river and even though I knew how to swim, I stayed dry
or I went into the river and got wet and cried help


this is what happened


I wanted it so bad that my eye shuddered
because I didn’t get what I wanted and I didn’t want to get
what I wanted and I didn’t know how
I climbed a tree to reap and I didn’t reap
and was swept with a fear of falling and I fell
and I sat in that same room for a very long time
the days passed the nights passed
and one morning I got up, left, and returned to the very same room


My Father, His Daughter






Note: Poems in Hebrew appear in the book Avarice (Bialik Institute Press, 2015, Kvar Series)

tahel-headshotWith a law degree from Hebrew University and one in clinical psychology from Tel Aviv University, Tahel Frosh is currently a doctoral student in Hebrew literature at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, where she teaches, and a columnist for Israel’s leading Haaretz newspaper. She appeared on the cover of World Literature Today in 2015.



yosefa-razYosefa Raz has lived in Jerusalem, Oakland, and Toronto, and is now based in Tel Aviv. Her poems, translations, and essays have appeared in Jacket2, Guernica, World Literature Today, ZYZZYVA, Lilith, Tikkun, and Entropy.  She teaches English and Comparative Literature at the Hebrew University.





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