I cannot sing this place.
I stand on ash, balance
on the platform. The audience of ten
faces, hollow and ghostly, urges—
Try not to fall into those earthen jaws,
moats of dust mixed with rain.
Looking into the deep troughs, dizzy
from time-induced nausea, I think
of that lullaby, Sleep, sleep,
one day you will have raisins and almonds.
I try to make a song here.
The air drips with inky streaks,
bus fumes and burnt hair.
Charred scrawls on the station
wall condemn me to death,
Stars of David replace Xs, cross
out hearts, point to the letters in Polish,
need no translation: Gas the Jews.
I want to scream old songs, erase
these coal marks that smudge, but do not fade.
My voice is no vandal.
One small voice: I hate
the green narrow barracks