The Dead Sea Of The Heart
Oh yes, we've had our Hittites, and afterwards thought
we would be jugglers or potters-anything, in fact,
so long as it was interesting or different or fun-
for what's fun about suffering? We've had our fill
and would share it now with another people.
On one occasion (how the memory lingers) the Hittites
simply rode in, their ponies only slightly less angry
and of violent deportment than their riders, and took from us
our wives and daughters, carried them off like so much
cheap art. And we let them go. What could we do?
Their weapons so superior, their sense of righteousness
throughout the whole affair, simply stunning.
Among our numbers only the oldest or very young were left
unchanged, continued in their rocking by the doorpost
or in the invention of yet another version of hide and seek.
We hated the Hittites. They represented everything
we would be rid of. So when the Philistines arrived
we welcomed them as liberators: the wisest among us
discovering favorable oracles in the earth, but all of us speaking
in their honor what words there were that remained to our hearts.