In the Hall of Mirrors, many decades
ago, an elderly German couple
asked me to take their photo. I thought of
quoting Heinrich Heine, “’Aus meinem Grossen
Schwerzen, Mach ich die Kleinen Lieder’” –
‘Out of my great sorrows Make I little songs’ –
but weltanschauung trumped chutzpah. I took it.
Though the Sun King himself built out of town,
the myth of the metropolis persists.
The city dreams. The world journeys elsewhere
in places too remote for my atlas –
like Belzec, Poland. The year I was born
daily five thousand gassed.