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Under Pink Triangles

Spent, one of the senior Kapos withdraws 
from the prisoner's mouth, and fills 
the young man's hand with crusts of bread. 

In the unlit latrine, after the Kapo leaves, 
the prisoner washes out his mouth, spits 
repeatedly, then eats the dry and brittle husks. 

The others dream fitfully on their thin mattresses 
of straw. These extra crusts will keep him alive 
through the day that awaits him, every hour 

knowing that again tonight as the others sleep, 
after midnight, the Kapo will be back, smiling, 
trousers unbuttoned, more bread in his hand.

Ian McBryde

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