Krypton – Michael Sandler

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Showering naked and yet buffered
by billows of steam and pulsing spray
against disturbance of the news—
this tiled pod could be anywhere,
say in blackest space where it
might shield a body from radiation

or perhaps as a sealed compartment
of the Kindertransport or a rear
cargo space where they’ve placed a child
ripped from vehement arms who
still hears, We’ll follow in a few
days… weeks… please do what they say…

We’d like to blame the monitors.
Think instead of the pressures pelting
them as they chauffeur unmarked vans
after midnight through unseeing streets
having to hear those squealing pipes
through the partition—what they’d give

to be cleansed by water that cossets
enough to syncopate small voices
with a pipe dream—a capsule drifting
toward a planet where innocence
no longer adorns the victim but
ripens to extraordinary strength.