Poem by Ian Thal
Photo by Bill Perrault
I never read the numbers on her arm,
but I wonder if the ink of burning black
injected into skin of burning white
spelt a Hebrew word
that could have spared
her and not the others––?
––extinguished like ancient stars.
Could the brutal tattoo gunner have known
the protective seal he might have needled?
Or, was survival a drawing of lots,
a slot machine, or a rolling of bones?
And I wonder which reading is the more dreadful?