To an Unknown Girl in Auschwitz


             I

Who are you who make your way
in the endless lines?
You, Two-Six-Nine-Five-Three,
You, the Flower of Jewry
proud, erect, your denuded skull
that once flowed rich black
with hair that tumbled fountain-like
around a slender neck of ivory
cascading onto shoulders
to fall divided gliding down
over breasts and back.

What noble forehead I see
above dark pools
wherein burn radiant eyes,
your soft sunken temples,
the slope of your regal nose.
Those lips, lightly pursed
above a chin held aloft,
borne with that silent certainty
of being loved already
by one yet unknown to you,
but whose presence now felt
propels your dauntless search.

Your every movement graced,
your feathered step,
your groping hands gliding
those fingers loosely stretched
that have yet to caress
an new born babe
or cushion a lover's head
from loving spent.

           II

On what hidden tether are you
being drawn to him
who has come here
searching for you among the fair,
for you, his longed for love.

You are his Winter Rose,
You are his Rising Sun
You are his Evening Star,
You are his House of Gold.

He has looked for you in every bower
sought out the lions' lairs,
no latch undone, no hinge unswung
until he ventured through these gates,
searching for you
in one last despairing quest.

Was it not his nearess
that awakened you before dawn
set you on this path in darkness
seeking out his lodging place?

Done with watching, longing,
done with endless dialoge alone
done with patience, pining, waiting.
You move, irresistibly drawn
to juncture, fullness, oneness,
where waiting ceases
where union quenches thirst.

All your visions clung to nights through,
all anticipation that has long beaten
at your love-sick heart
crave for fulfillment, a bringing out
that you know now
will soon be come about.

Is that his voice you hear,
your head lowered now
your eyes straining
as you rush in his direction?
Are you about to enter
upon a banquet prepared?
Do you see yourself reclining
in fruits from his trees,
cushioned in down, gazing at
swirling columns of incense rising
as you await his first light touch?

He must see you coming now,
you, so intent, in his direction.
Stands he there behind some board,
some cleft in a wall?
Hear you his words already?
Is he proffering a time, a tryst, a place?
Or is it a room, a loft, a nest—
like orioles make, a flaxen purse
hanging deep in foliage hidden
where union takes place?

Are you asking
if he knows of your longing,
if his will meld with yours
in folds of awareness so hermetic
as to envelop you in one endless ritual
of giving and yielding?
Ah—this questioning but distracts
from your final rush to him
into whose presence you are entering.

                 III    

Go, lift your beauty to him.
All convention, all words, all thought
recede now. There is no fetter.
You are beyond licence, sanction, law.
All is assent, oneness, accord.

You are running now,
taking to the wing, gently, lightly.

But he, too, is in motion
nearing, so near
about to catch you up, sidelong, longing,
to envelop you
in the heat of his embrace.


Copyright © 2005