She sifts through the dirt. Again. This time the hole has squared corners
and the sides are a cool and loamy clay. It is like a small chip
in the earth, just a speck. Who could think there has ever been a cut here?
Who could think there has never been a cut here?
Who could think a nick has not been made here and flesh removed? She sifts
thought the soil, her hands come up with bits of something – enamel covered
in decades of dirt. You can see they’re forever stained once it is brushed away.
Here, she says, holding them out in her palm.
Can you see the difference? This one is shark, you can tell by the point. This one
is a child’s, chipped and broken. You can tell
by the jagged edge.
In September 2014 Gavin Adair decamped for Shanghai after eleven years in Brooklyn. “After the Nazis” is from an ongoing sequence of poems based on other works, acts, or events. This is the third poem in the sequence to see publication.