(for Rosa Luxemburg, Socialist revolutionary, murdered in Berlin, January 1919)
Her body dumped into the canal.
How did the water greet
the fist of her heart?
Nichts. Das ist alles.
Is that what the sky said,
the horse-drawn tram?
And that bird,
how could it sing so blithely?
And the slap of the wave,
did its bluster extend
beyond the pier, the cobbled street
where a one-legged soldier
took a quick piss and turned away?
Rosa’s blood joined to Berlin’s
phantom limb recalling wholeness
before one war
blasted the innocence of fathers,
began the corruption of their sons.
— Colette Inez