DEDICATION: TO MY MENTOR AND MAINSTAY Felicia Stendig, dead, Bergen-Belsen, May 2nd, 1945
I seek you in the shadowed valley of pain
the sockets of my sorrow hollowed eyes
telescoped through the thicket
of the dark, where tears guard silence;
spiky stalactites of salt solidified,
in prismic facets of the void
which took you to its own
dissolved the contour and the form
I knew by love.
Maybe you found peace there
and I disturb you and alarm,
selfish with the longing of a child
call you, see you as you were, stately,
young, copper-haired, your hands so white –
that in relief, the blue of veins
like trees on silk – warm, smooth,
remembered on my cheek.
No hand, as yours, could soothe in terror’s hour.
Pining for its touch on my burning head
I clutch the pillar of your wisdom.
And it stays.