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Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah)

After Auschwitz

I am vague I am hazy I am indistinct

I am bodiless-

but my black Romani blood river runs

boils and bubbles and

pushes up Piotr’s daisies

I am faceless-

but my non-Aryan features glow searing hot

my crippled mouth and communist eyes

coal to cinder

fuel to Himmler’s furnaces

the fog of my Jewish bones

blurs Wladyslaw’s farmhouse

my homosexual tongue a licking lapping flame

a hideous gape, a burning yawning mask

my embers smolder in the wake of the Zyklon B

that fumigated my lungs

and left me breathless, voiceless, mute.


…so I am nameless…

I am vague I am hazy I am indistinct

Write me, Paul Celan

-your neighbor from Czernowitz

Write me, Nelly Sachs

-your neighbor from Berlin

Write me, Miklós Radnóti

-your neighbor from Budapest

Give me a body and fill me in and grant me life.

Birth me-

for oblivion awaits

Birth me-

lest I disappear

from the awareness of humanity

into the amnesia of history

…vapor and ash…

Adorno was wrong - there must be poetry.

Write me.


This poem first appeared in Voices Israel 2015 and is included in my chapbook from Finishing Line Press.

You can order the book on Amazon.com or here:

Windows and a Looking Glass by Deborah Kahan Kolb

©2016 by Deborah Kahan Kolb. Proudly created with Wix.com