NOTHING ENTERS HERE THAT IS NOT GEOMETRY,
Block letters traced above the classroom door by her students
In Roanne, ordered for removal, though outside, under the cedar
That casts a shadow over them, they “discuss in perfect freedom.”
Her reason for hope? “To understand the force that crushes us,”
The Reichstag burnt, a calculated ruin, the new Chancellor risen
Out of the ash, hate, like a tuning fork, sharpening its pure note
To krystallnacht, transports, wrath, onslaught. In time she sees
The mechanism, how it works, brutal, how much less humans,
Even gods, make themselves things, the world a poem of force
With force the only story, the only actor, only hero, as when,
Enraged, Achilles affords his vengeance to the surging river,
Its currents wrung red with blood, banks slung with corpses,
Hacked flesh nibbled by fish, a torrent seething downstream
Until the river so dams with bodies they block its path to sea
And the river rears up, wrathful, gushing to slay the god-man,
So force mounts without measure or equilibrium, its rush
And flood, not heroic, not now: fire bombs, lightning war,
Factory work mastered to groove a pure symphony of death.
No, not now: Berlin before the coup, at the café where she sits
Awaiting her parents. Is she thinking of Niobe, her children
Murdered and still she eats, how nature drowns the inner life?
“Just a few uniformed Nazis on the streets, and they behave
Like everyone else.” A thought, passing, under the beech trees.