Ash Flower

by Kirsten Luckins

after Anselm Keifer

the dead, who are thinner than gas
might fit comfortably in their millions
in a simple cardboard box

so why this desolate hangar –
ankle-deep in guano and plaster-dust,
quiet as a sick forest

was Buchenwald once really a forest –
trees     acid-stripped and skeletal
grow down out of a broken pane of sky

such a mighty space –
must we fit in there with them –
the millions whose last words

were a scrabbled cunieform on the inside
of the heavy chamber doors
thickest where the handle should have been