the smell of sweat,

nor the color yellow,

or sand, pears, bananas,

green vegetables, orange vegetables

windows you can't see into,

grinding of teeth, the sound of swallowing,

triangles, octagons, heart shapes

buses, taxies.

Michal bicycles by the same way

on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

on Wednesdays she preferred the seafront.

Michal didn't notice people much,

for example, on that Wednesday

she didn't notice the man entering "Porcupine Café",

on the Tel-Aviv promenade

with nervous eyes.

When the blast wave hit

Michal wasn't hunched

the explosion circled the air

for a fifth of a second.

She felt the convulsion of her eardrum,

of her heart muscle, of her stomach

The blaze lit the café,

the air was welling in thickness.

Paper scraps, shards of glass, a hat,

drops of blood, white broken mugs.

Michal remembered only that,

she had read once, that Fight or Flight,

takes three seconds to initiate

The time it takes

to pucker your lips, to focus a camera,

fourteen rat heartbeats.

The time it takes an African Horn Lizard

to eat forty-five ants

one at a time.

Deborah Kolesar

Deborah Kolesar

Harry Ibach

Harry Ibach

Jon C. Munson II

Jon C. Munson II

Skip Allen

Skip Allen