The Big Lie in a Small Place By Howie Good

1
Some of them disappeared.
Now, people don’t remember,

and sometimes I think they don’t
even understand where they are
and what the places are about.

How do we sleep when the planet is melting?

2
I think it must be
like a church.

If you want to pray
for the souls of all

the people who are
in the ground in this place,

then come. And
sometimes it works.

3
This is not the last time
you’ll be able to eat.
It just looks like that,
when you stay outside
and observe people.

4
I can’t be in this place.
The tourists are looking
at things like they are
from another world.
“Ah,” they say, “interesting.”
It means that Goebbels won.

 

Source: Assembled from “Sergei Loznitsa’s Movie ‘Austerlitz’ Observes Tourists in Concentration Camps,” New York Times, Aug. 31, 2016.

Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely.