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Birgitta Trotzig
  Translated from the Swedish by Rika Lesser

"Snow: the old Jewish cemetery . . ."

      Snow: the old Jewish cemetery in Prague: the stone city of the future snow-white under brilliant black cloudsthe penal city.Graves with hands of stone.Rabbi Löw, creator of the Golem, rests his own shriveled body under a palace burdened by letters ornate and suffocating: his sentence.
  It's the hands in the stone that have power.
  The world is molded, kneaded from the clay of the great Broken Vessels. From this plastic mass Time kneads and shapes a new face, kneads and figures forth the face of light and of darkness, the new creation: A black body of dust, constricted motion that is invisible light. A raw face, a mouth that seeks.Lay stones on the graves, not earth.Slowly the stone will return to black dust, the dust kneaded again into manikin. Rabbi Löw conjures the torpid doll to life. The creature walks the streets, overturning or building things up, founds cities, destroys them. The earth bathes in death. Jerusalem's streets are desolate, dogs whine beside mutilated bodies. Eternal return.Rabbi Löw's hands live in the stone. Which floats in dawn's limpid liquid air. Snowmelt drops from the gravestones. Hovering, the stone hands are forming. With careful hands forming this letter: the first and the last.