Photo: Regina with Roman and Lilka
            “The Neumark family, who owned a bicycle store in Bedzin,
             pose in the park in 1939, just a few weeks before the war."
                         Ann Weiss, The Last Album: Eyes from the Ashes of Auschwitz-Birkenau
 
Isn’t it strange that the trees behind me only become real when I look at them?
And, that what happens in the trees happens only when I turn around to see them—  
that a leaf skeleton, a pepper moth, the nest of a wood ant
exists in this world, rather than in another?
That the universe is split into two, and that I live in only one part of it.
 
When I talk like this, my husband listens.
When I tell him I worry about what happens when I’m not looking, 
he says, things that you don’t worry about are the things that happen, 
which makes me think that I should worry about everything.
The bicycle shop, my daughter, the possibility of war.
 
When I smile for the picture, I hold my daughter’s hand.
I feel her weight lean into me.
I try not to think about what’s happening behind me,
that I don’t need to know everything that exists simultaneously.
I could go mad if I don’t stop.
 
Everything is next door to each other, but there is no way to communicate. 
There are so many choices happening at the same time.
But I’ll stop now.
There is a decaying world among the leaf litter, but I won’t look.
I won’t think about what hides.
The ground beetles, the centipedes, what remains of the tree.
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