Just before you leave,
not son, not brother,
not friend, not lover, yet
more than a touch of these –
hold my firm hand
in your fine hand that has known pleasure
and bitterness and stormy nights.
More than anything all of me wants
(all of me, not again) to hold you tight,
for one moment
to be one flesh and blood
and one seed and all things that are one.
However, yes, however,
I take your good hands in mine
and lead you to the door,
send you out like a dove, Konstandinos,
to the wide world.
In the storms you meet,
the bitterness and joy you will bear,
my brother and son, my friend and lover,
my affection will accompany you forever,
impure, perhaps, at times,
but happy for the joy you find.
May the heavens help you, watch
over you, my man, to the end of the way.
Translated from Hebrew by Vivian Eden, Sha’ar International Poets’ Festival, Haifa, 2013