I had heard about you maybe
once or twice, we have no real
martyrs but you came close,
your image posted on the board.
in your cause, what a good Jew.
They tell us you sang the psalms
when the guard placed you against
your eyes covered in thin
cloth, hands pinioned in
a rough way
yet joyfully humming the Aleinu,
“He is our God, there is no other.”
answer, “how true.”
A confined lioness upon a pyre
consumes, never to die
you were pregnant with cadence,
rhythm, spirit pressed up against
your lips, kissing the fallen book
never to meet dirt again,
Along the Danube all were confused.
The fitful pop of a gun,
into the rushing waters, carrying
away the day’s trash,
trash like you.
The water’s a whore, unclean.
Bathing in the Balaton, azure in hue
You were so pure,
Lily white with eyes
mouth only moving to praise
and bless the executioner.
You burned with such light,
brilliance like I’ve never seen,
blinding oranges ripe with golden sparks,
an exploding Sabbath
how lovely a hue.
I’ll paint your grave with blues, whites
bright as the Carpathian snows, silvers,
greens, but not with stone.
No, not with
the color of grey uniforms, cobbles along
lifeless little ghettos
and towns. Instead I will give you
strokes of the life you never knew.