Spring 1992 • Vol. XIV No. 2 PoetryApril 1, 1992 |

Heinz Jost’s Birthday: September 19, 1941

Before he rides into Warsaw   for a day of sight-seeing he orders a meal for his pals   in the Wehrmacht mess for seven. Trusty Leica hidden   under tunic, rolls of film in pockets, tourist   at the corpse-lined wall, the forbidden gate, he   slips in, the sun at his back as up and down   the sidewalk, he snaps one hundred and twenty-nine   exposures: first a man walking on his forearms, legs   dragging; a swollen-bellied small boy whose sunken   head pops up, then drops again and the silent boy   who begs for him. Heinz follows a heaped cart   pulled by two men to the cemetery. In vast   pits, bodies purple as lilacs are sowed with lime   by a boy. It's only eleven o'clock, five more rolls   to shoot until dark. A woman selling armbands—stars   of David on white paper—obstructs his shot, glares   at him. Heinz ducks away, adjusts the lens for the   little brother and sister in white-collar c

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