Written after watching the violent seizure of a Moscow theater by Chechen
guerillas, and the Russian security forces violent response, on tv.
Even that stupid musical
wasn’t a good enough reason
to take me hostage
for more than 60 hours,
and look what came out of this, pal,
from your 26 years:
as gang leader you didn’t understand
that the gang leader you faced
was much tougher than you. Now
I watch you on 168 channels,
some spilled blood and cognac
crown your unholy death.
Movsar, your name means “winner,”
while your fate is a great defeat.
O, I won’t watch your feet
conquer your country’s byways
on television anymore, and I’ll leave
your beautiful face, asleep forever,
and the woman in black, booby trapped,
opening her mouth to the nerve gas,
and all the dead you left behind,
and all those still dying.
Goodbye to your ashes and to Mother Russia,
I’ll whisper in your mother tongue –
stag eera veelira –
“the man is out of the picture.”
Translated from Hebrew by Vivian Eden, Sha’ar International Poets’ Festival, Haifa, 2013