from The Swastika Clock

by Louis Daniel Brodsky


A Death-Camp Passion

Nearing Mount Nebo,
I realize that my way and my desire to survive fate
Have separated, gone astray.
My vagrant spirit shivers;
Fear over discovering that my destiny is death in disguise
Cancels logic, annihilates my will to continue.

I disobeyed God, struck the rock, with silence.

My soul, once a desert oasis, dehydrates.
Promethean flames consume me, in genocidal hallucinations.
Supple skin, which robed my skeleton,
Disintegrates into flakes of fish food
Drifting in the arid winds above the Sinai.
Malnutrition is a makeshift crucifix
Erected atop a dune not far from this stifling tent,
In which my putrescent corpse decays.
Soon, my shoulders, tattooed forearms, and bony wrists
Will assume the entire weight
Of Jewish hubris and oppression.