On a table beside his tub a small statue

           of a kneeling woman, nude, right arm

                      draped over her head. Was it always

 

on display, or has it been transported

           for effect? Like the photograph of Hitler

                      propped on the tub’s edge. A picture

 

within a picture of Miller in the water,

           washcloth to her shoulder as Scherman clicks,

                      records a face that betrays no disgust

 

her body’s touching what Hitler’s body touched.

           Muddy boots on the floor. Clothing

                      loosely tossed on a backless chair

 

suggests she acted on impulse, driven

           by images from Dachau: mouths agape,

                      staring eyes locked on air. Cables

 

Vogue: I IMPLORE YOU TO BELIEVE THIS IS TRUE.

           Shocking, what she bore witness to, where

                      her boots have been. The tub’s

 

enormous, more like a hard white sarcophagus,

           its porcelain and chrome ordinary

                      as sin, as Eichmann.

 

 

 

This poem won first prize in the University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize 2015.