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from the October 2004 issue


I enter the room beside you. Take off my overcoat. Drop my handbag on the bed

With bewildered gestures I take off my glasses

Indecisive I stand fidgeting. I love you and feel frightened. I watch you

waiting for you to decide what you'll do

with this object (warm slender vertical)

that I am

We're talking together. I watch you. I do not touch you

It's warm and we go on talking together. You do not touch me

And I feel death as it slipping into the room-it is here

it is now

it is between us-

I feel how with its chisel it disfigures

the features of my face maims my sex my breasts

meticulously sculpts the bitter curve of my mouth

It's warm. I become thinner and thinner. In the room

there's fog a hot haze it smells burnt it smells of man

(Oho. I inhaled the smoke from the crematorium

the day of your death

in another lifetime of ours

not very far away-at Auschwitz

A survivor I washed my hands tidily with soap

made of your flesh

The violence

the guilt with which I love you thus derive from that distance

If you won't touch me now

I understand: it's your turn)

Vertical like a pendulum's rod I let myself be worked on by death

Ohoho. It's hot like in a crematorium. It's late. It smells of smoke

It smells of carbonized human flesh

If you won't hide me now

I understand: it's your turn
Read more from the October 2004 issue
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