London: 15th September, 1941


Teaspoons are tinkering
soon, they will come hollering,
the zingers--
linoleum floor will open a mouth
and swallow us up both
Listen to my prophecy
before the chilling whistles-
They will scout the streets
looking for the perfect house to break
And people with masks of skin
will walk in the rubbles
recording the shells: one, two, three.
We will give them the ones they lose track of:
And ask 'em to free our house from it.


A funny prayer- raze my shack to ashes!
One-two frantic arms wave at the sky
At the storm clouds that promise
a rain of tinkling metals-
London has bought this too!
I will make you an offer you can't refuse -
I am flammable, within and without
a bark of birch
quiet on the track of forest fire.
I proffer no chafe, no chafe, no friction
a vapor pressed to solid cage, fingering evaporation.


What did Goethe speak of freedom? -
Niemand ist mehr Sklave, als der sich für frei hält, ohne es zu sein--
The better, the farther from home-
further I must go, I can hear
distant echoes, muddled cries-
"Du bist ein mädchen! Saukerl! "
His sweet breath on mine, interspersed
with oaken doors opening and closing
shrieks of raised alarm:
"Mein Gott! Schänlich!"
one little crime of boyhood, forbidden:
small short whispers of suppressed sobs
seventeen year old pants
Stuffed with an abandoned name
and a letter from the Skies.

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