[from Sometimes You Lose People, Yediot Books Press, 2013]

On the hill in the field that we found in-between snails grow on outdated brambles, ahead of winter. Beheaded lace thorns wallow like the remainder of a glittering principality. From here the summer looks sumptuous and soft, not like it felt in cruel, scorching real time.

Dalya Amotz

Dalya Amotz

Snails delight my son and he strays from the footpath for them, checking the scores of white flowers that have climbed up a stiff yellow stem. He collects a few in his hands, “only the dead ones”, he stresses, occasionally suggesting we take other ones too.

The next day the books grew some snails that we thought were dead. We released them in the garden. Though it’s not the same habitat, it was the best we could do for them.

And at night I dreamed of dead snails that resembled toy skulls and whose tentacles moved sideways, like during a sad Simon and Garfunkel song, when the people in the crowd move their arms, holding up candles. And only when I woke up I thought it strange, that their tentacles moved when they were dead and I wanted to check again and I went into that cave that my son is so interested in and I asked. And they told me that there is wind there. And the wind enables them to move despite everything. And I still objected and said that I know that when a snail dies it dries out and only the shell remains and that the shell is like its skeleton, or what symbolizes the skeleton, and they said Right, that’s how it is in the world, but in the cave it’s different.

And when I came out I thought again that when a snail dies its shell remains and the shell is part of the body. And that once I too was like a snail. And I only had slime.

About Adi Sorek

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