Michael Prior,
"The Patagonian Hare"

after Benjamin Murmelstein

And when they came for us I was made king
of a kingdom that had long since ceased to be.
I was given a mouldy stack of cigarettes, a box of names.
Dark and lustrous as insects, they climbed across my fingers,
spectacled my eyes, cluttered the edges of my sight.

The banality of regret was a white hare in a field of ash.
It perched on the edge of my burnt bed, tore tunnels
through my threadbare suits. Memo. Receipt.
Nails on tile tapped out an abacus’ song.

The Weimar dog strained at the leash, the Patagonian hare
kicked a hole through the cloth of the ghetto. He held it
open for as long as he could against the jaws.

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