Magazine article World Literature Today

Two Poems

Magazine article World Literature Today

Two Poems

Article excerpt

Martyrs of the Deportation

I stood in the Place du Notre Dame,

facing the grimace of gargoyles. I walked

East to the open space, finding the railing,

the lightest of grey cement, and my hands

opened the black iron gate where I descended

into the earth for the hidden memorial:

Granite. Tile. Jagged black sculpture. The air,

surprisingly fresh, illuminated. I found myself

in a small room, intensely long and narrow -

the parallel walls covered in backlit

dots of stone quartz, infinite tiny lights

in patterned rows of amber white.

Each dot of light for each French person

murdered in the Camps, the seemingly

endless array of them.

How can you absorb or connect it?

I stood there under the earth,

knowing what I was expected to feel.

But my heart felt nothing. I felt

nothing in my dumfounded shoes.

Even a Small Voice Can Proclaim a Treatise for the Peace We All Want but Don't Make the Commitment For

The news is bad as the news

is always bad and getting worse,

until breathing becomes a political act. …

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