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.