Lyrics

I saw the Chinese prisoner lying on the floor with his throat cut.

Arbeitserziehungslager (AEL)/Work Education Camp, Römhild, Germany, 1945

Listen:

music travels far

on quiet nights.

Open the windows,

enjoy another man’s opera,

your neighbor’s wife

singing at her bath.

Listen,

death can’t not be

musical:

pick axes clanging,

kapos beating,

one last breath

guttering the throat

of the no longer living.

Listen

for my entrance.

I’ve timed it

beautifully.

Irena Praitis | LAST STONE IN THE CIRCLE | Red Mountain Press 2016 | Winner of the Red Mountain Poetry Prize

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