Dead Wife

I toss her over my shoulder as if she were a sack
of potatoes, not bones, and I know just like theirs
her eyes, still cold with dirt from the mass grave,
do not see me. As I step along the path from the camp
to the village I can smell the death stench of her bowels.

photo: a field in snow

I can thank the Nazis, for they have taught me
things I had not known, that the life of the woman
who loves you is only a fragrance, easily dispersed
by the slight winter breeze of a bullet, nothing more than
a ghost with a moment of breath and the phenomenon of flesh.

I feel her breast pressing silent against my ear, but
it was just a breast, after all, through all
the sultry nights of lips and tongues it was only that
after all. Now it merely dulls the crackle
under German boots as the soldiers approach me
on the frozen grass, brown broken from dormancy to death.
I do not fear their guns, they hold only clods of metal,
after all. I could point an accusing finger
and look or shout my defiance, but it does not
matter at all.