Nearly all the teeth are gone, some coveted for their gold, others yellowed
with age & still attached to jaw bones, residing in mouths that no longer speak
or pray or scream. Those were the lucky ones. They became too old
for the benevolence of the Fairy, too young to fossilize, too strong
to succumb to gravity or the hazards of kruszchyki or rugelach or hamantaschen.
There were millions who left us so soon – their rib cages threatening to poke
straight through the paper thin skin, their eye sockets like tunnels to death.
Some became soap, some lampshades. The lucky young ones with hair like sun and eyes
like skies became Himmler’s Lebensborn dollies, and for them the future echoed with “Why?
Who am I? Why me?” Perhaps someday a god will answer. Perhaps someday a goddess
will spill her tears and the ones who lived can rest in peace. There is no peace
for those of us who now write history with a fading tattoo but remember. Should we choose
to forget and men who would be painters instead chase the applause
afforded the sociopath, the accolades for the clever tyrant, uncovering yet another rune
to woo you, then the bones of the dead will beat on your brow
and beseech you, L’Chaim! L’Chaim! Mein Kampf ist euer Kampf, lass uns leben!
To Life! To Life! My struggle is your struggle, let us live!