Poetry Archives Bio

Cappelbaum Judenstern

November 20, 2013

Aleksander Chmielnicki

Cappelbaum sleeps.

Cappelbaum dreams
that he is
fifty kilometres west
of Kraków
near the
confluence of the
Wisła and Soła

Cappelbaum thinks
"How did I
get here
how did I
end up
with this star
on my prison striped
chest?

         when he is
interrupted
by the
         BANG
of the door—
enter the
kapo & a
black uniform:

— Jest stolarz?
   silence
   then the gun
   comes out
— Sprich, Jude!
— Kurwa! Jest stolarz?
   then the man
   comes out

                 of the
         ranks
— Häftlingsnummer?
— Eins-zwei-neun-eins-sieben.
— Name?
— Chmielnicki, Aleksander.
— Kommen Sie.
                     Exeunt all.

Cappelbaum thinks
of the man's thick striped
shirt
      & the upside
down
    triangle
& the man's
gaunt face

Cappelbaum dreams
of his wide
open eyes
and the white
open skies
and die Natur's
                    extremes

Cappelbaum wakes.