Marginalia in Time of War
On the side of this sheet 
(no use looking) 
Or on the back 
(no use) 
Stand motley stick figures 
  
Women 
Those who fell at the fall of Berlin ‘45 
To Russian officers suave if foul 
To Proles victorious drunk roaring 
(no use) 
  
Sisters cousins mothers grandmothers 
Yes and the very young 
Taken (no ) 
Sometimes three or four times  
In the night night after night 
  
Nothing helped of course  
Except to become an officer’s special prize 
(Briseis 
Helen 
You too knew that) 
  
Some faked illness 
Under sheets in a typhus ward 
Or hid in attics like others before them 
Anywhere a closet trunk crawlspace grandfather clock 
Stifling breaths  
  
On the back of this paper 
Or at the ragged margin to the left 
Or at the straight-ruled right 
Holding on 
(no use don’t bother) 
                                                             
Here is plunder  
A slim-limbed Berliner gazing 
She stands at this rickety window 
On the side of war 
Looking in 
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