I have been to Treblinka death camp
become parklike patch of memorial earth
an hour’s drive northeast of Warsaw where
the midsummer sun sets past 10 p.m.
I was twenty-one then
bitten by clouds of black flies
characters in a war-era Sartre play
they were not the sign God was angry
but how stage players seldom shoot straight
Each fly drew blood but beneath their sting
I felt a crunch underfoot I later learned was bone:
Treblinka’s soil sprouts trees whose trunks contain
a white, calcified core made plain viewing when
their bark is pared back
Of course, I knew none of this then
gazing up into a canopy of birch and pine
soughing in a zephyr breeze
I almost believed in the innocent beauty
of those trees who crowned a landscape
of human remains.
Jeremy Nathan Marks lives in London, Ontario. Recent work appears in places like So It Goes, Chiron Review, Bewildering Stories, Ginosko Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, New Verse News, Dissident Voice, Boog City, and The Write Life.