(For family of Grajewo, exterminated 1942)
pale flecks in this soil are bones of men
they might be broken plaster rinds.
air was still but starts to moan again.
not in rendered flesh that fact resides
in these dolmens or averted eyes:
gray flecks’ grayer dust is bones of men.
thrust like teeth attest to thousands,
stone a town milled down to grinds.
wind that was quiet starts to moan again.
liquified in vats of lime
rushed shift took too much time.
pale flecks in this soil are bones of men.
is not mere absence but a seething pride
fouls. Our dazed guide genuflects; but
greasy wind begins to moan again.
trusts in grace must learn this bitter Polish plain.
rain the flakes work loose and rise again.
restless plaster drifts are bones of men.
holds to miracles at last will come alone
this windblown place where only minus thrives.
white specks in this soil are bones of men.
chilly air will start to moan again.
from Watered Colors, 2014