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Frozen Jews

Have you seen, in fields of snow,
frozen Jews, row on row?
Blue marble forms lying,
not breathing, not dying.

Somewhere a flicker of a frozen soul -
glint of fish in an icy swell.
All brood. Speech and silence are one.
Night snow encases the sun.

A smile glows immobile
from a rose lip's chill.
Baby and mother, side by side.
Odd that her nipple's dried.

Fist, fixed in ice, of a naked old man:
the power's undone in his hand.
I've sampled death in all guises.
Nothing surprises.

Yet a frost in July in this heat -
a crazy assault in the street.
I and blue carrion, face to face.
Frozen Jews in a snowy space.

Marble shrouds my skin.
Words ebb. Light grows thin.
I'm frozen, I'm rooted in place like the naked
old man enfeebled by ice.

- Avrom Sutzkever




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