The Damned

i.

I am insulted that the birds

Still have the gall

To sing here.

Their sweet chirps above the

Screams of the dying

Is a mockery, and

My stomach turns at

Their sick, twisted joke.

ii.

I watched a child get shot yesterday.

The SS officer pulled out a gun

And fired like he had done it a

Thousand times before.

Like the act of taking a life was as

Natural as washing one’s hands.

Ironic, don’t you think?

And they say we’re the filth.

Oh, I hope he rots in hell.

But that afternoon, as I saw the smoke

Rising and blackening the sky,

And smelled with pale horror

The unmistakable stench of burning flesh,

I realized that hell is a place

Called Auschwitz, and

We’re the ones rotting.

iii.

Humanity.

How it so crumbles like silt

In my hands.

Did I mention?

One of them carries a bible under his arm

And fingers the pages during break.

I pass by and have to slap a hand to my mouth

To stifle the insane laugh bubbling up my throat.

What God are you praying to, sir?

Let’s hope He has mercy on your soul.

iv.

I just shared my stale bread with

The woman in the next bunk.

Her ribs jutted out of her chest

As her bones made a wild attempt

To flee her body.

And even as she crept dutifully into

The fingers of death,

She said to me,

People are good.

I laughed,

A sad, sort of half-crazed laugh.

That’s just not something

I think I can believe in

Anymore.

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