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Published: Tue Jul 1 2003
Art by Jin Suk
The Most Unsafe Market in Jerusalem

Each moment some turquoise iron door in a white wall or a carpenter
whose hands in rough canvas gloves, settling a plank on a bench,
make your spine feel massaged, or sacks of walnuts beside sacks of
pecans, or white peaches, green peaches, hairy peaches, cherries,
lemons, melons, two lanes of people, parsley, loquats, pita and sesame
and poppy breads and sweet cakes, figs and dates, candies and halvah
wheels, green onions, flat silver fish and flat straw-yellow fish with
gold irises, sausages, nightgowns, chickens, God, what isn’t there?
Grocers hollering. Three shekels the kilo, the government’s fallen,
three shekels, apricots, the government’s fallen!
– which is

a metaphor for now.

Sharona Ben-Tov Muir is the author of The Book of Telling: Tracing the Secrets of My Father’s Lives, published by Bison Books in 2008. (updated 7/2010)

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