poem: an unlikely love story inspired by Bent (the motion picture)

an unlikely love story inspired by Bent (the motion picture)

we meet
on the train
a concentration
of downcast eyes
in the wooden belly
of imminent slaughter

you wear
the pink triangle
(they say
you are bent)

you tell me
how to survive,
so i murder
my lover
i rape
a girl child
i earn
the yellow star

the storm troopers
walk by
snickers marching
across their faces
by the rhythm
of their feet
as they fall into rank
for the little man
behind the holocaust
curtain

they coax us
to complete each load
of this futile work
moving rocks
from one pile
to another
and back again

they are trying
to drive us mad
they pride themselves
in the unique quality
of our demise

but we have
a secret
they cannot bully
all of our smiles
away

i hold you
to me

in the moments
they allow us
to stand still
we whisper
carresses,
kisses,
touching places
we’ve never actually felt
beneath the dry, cracked pads
of our fingertips

my ears burn
with the distant sigh
of your pleasure

even when the snow falls
and we have no gloves
to protect our fingers
i hold you to me
in words
and you imagine yourself
warm again

we have a code
you touch
your left eyebrow
to say
i love you

they do not know
i hold you to me
they do not see
our embrace
written on flesh
by voices
they cannot quiet

or maybe they do

they are walking
us someplace
we haven’t been
before

we are close
to the fence
to the outside
we have almost
forgotten

they tell me
to watch you

they tell you
to throw your hat
on the fence

i hold you
to me

the dread
fills me
raging butterflies
of torment
in my empty belly

i hold you
to me

you throw your hat
he commands you
to retrieve it

i hold you to me

you touch your left eyebrow

i hold you to me

there is a ringing
in my ears

i hold you to me

you crumble

i hold you to me

they tell me
to get rid of the body
(you were never
human to them)

for the first time
since we met
i hold you to me

April Cheri 7/1999 and 10/2014

 

 

 

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