On Opening a Book of Photographs

On Opening a Book of Photographs
by Kim Addonizio

I look at them until I feel immune,
a pile of bodies photographed by Lee
Miller, nineteen forty-five, their strewn
limbs, at first random, like spokes, ray out
across the page. That checkered rag — a dress,
maybe, or only a piece of cloth — I doubt
it covers a women. The others’ sex
is easy: they’re men; their faces, and
two exposed penises, nested in the shadowed
groins, look tender, peaceful, like that hand
curled on a chest, as if it knows
where it rests. But it doesn’t. However I
tell this, they’re not redeemed. There they lie.

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1 Comment

  1. I’m guessing the photos are of Jews in the Buchenwald or Dachau concentration camps. 1945 would be the time of allied liberation. Death is seemingly simplistic yet we make much of it. The finality of it is difficult to grasp because we’re always searching for meaning. Thanks for sharing.

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