“AUSCHWITZ” was written in 1988 and explores the horrors while being branded with a ‘PINK’ triangle.
Cold and worn, I sit crouched in the corner of the train.
My clothes and hopes are torn, too.
Gloom paints my mind. God has turned blind.
In the snow there is death and stain.
Cold winds sting… I shiver to sleep.
My family and friends huddle close… as the train stops… slowly.
I peer outside, lanterns and lights lit.
I see the sign and I shudder:
Welcome To Auschwitz
I am separated. Insulted. Harassed. Humiliated.
Branded with a pink triangle.
I close my eyes hoping to be taken away by my guardian angel.
I am led to a small prison- like hole.
Others like me, their spirits stole.
Gaunt. Starved. Rot and poison, forced to eat.
The guards take me down- hold me to the ground.
They spit and they rape me… laughing,
“You queer kike, we know you like!”
They all take turns as my friends watch in a trance;
others prefer to shut their eyes, only to periodically glance.
The German Nazi bastards!
They have made a theatrics of me.
Day after day. One by one. My friends disappear…
With tears in my eyes I fear.
I am so thin I can barely stand. I am weak.
They’re trying to kill me. I pray them to be damned. Today is gray.
The world is snowing and moaning.
Led one by one we are stripped.
The moment terrifying, insanity fully gripped.
Then commanded to run.
For them it’s all fun.
Suddenly, they aim their guns.
I don’t look back on this mounting attack.
Shots are fired and bodies collapse.
I am so slow… my feet numb.
I give myself up, body and soul.
My wasted body falls with a thud in the snow.
I can no longer move. How I long to feel my mother’s hands sooth.
A boot stomps my face. Blood I taste. The snow is splattered.
The flesh on my face tattered.
For an instant, in my mind, I see my family,
separated from me.
I watched them ushered into the showers.
Doors close. Screams. Agony.
I could do nothing. The stench of their deaths absorbed in my skin.
An omen soon coming.
Ice fills my mouth.
My eyes no longer can shut.
The black seeping and surrounding.
The pain in my body released.
“Aushwitz”the poem has been Archived at Simon Wiesenthal Center/Museum of Tolerance, USC ONE Institute & at Poets House NYC. It is also available on the California Library online platform Biblioboard.com. Forever available to the public and students.
It was also previously published in the poetry collection, “Speculative Poets of Texas 2015“ and online at Poetry Super Highway’s Holocaust Remembrance Edition 2015.
Cover art by Jorge Velasquez. Audiobook narrated by Emmy Award winner Michael McHenry.