Under the bunker, where the reek of kerosene
Prepared the marriage rite, leader and whore,
Imperfect kindling even in this wind, burn on.
Someone in uniform hums Brahms.
Eyewitness stories as the night comes down, as smoking coals await
Boots on the stone, the occupying troops.
Deep in Kyffhauser Mountain's underground,
The Holy Roman Emperor snores on, in sleep enduring
His long red beard
Grows through the table to the floor.
He moves a little.
Far in the labyrinth, low thunder rumbles and dies out.
Twitch and lie still.
Is Hitler now in the Himalayas?
We are in Cleveland, or Sioux Falls.
Seems like Omaha, the air pumped in from Düsseldorf.
Cold rain keeps dripping just outside the bars.
Burst on the table as the commissar
Untwists the vise, removes his gloves, puts down
(Old saboteurs, controlled by Trotsky's
Scheming and unconquered ghost, still threaten Novgorod.
--And not far from the pits, these bones of ours,
Burned, bleached, and splintering, are shoveled, ready for the fields.
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