Concentration
Beth Roberts
The weight on that mountain masters its own,
what remains under what remains. We enter

by the road sign of the dense, but fairy-figured,
carved convicted pointing to the Quarry.

(Of the other, to Buchenwald with a grinning
collared bear, only a photo remains.)

At the gate a flicker of stink, taken
by distance: rivers of hills, towers of spires.

And the foreground's stuffed with a wreck
array, rectangular imprints of barracks.

At the end of the war all citizens of Weimar
were marched up the mountain and made

to look: what they saw in the way
of their shivers of hills, liars of spires,

what rained, seeped into their footfalls.
And who remained saw the looks of them.

Five o'clock, the luxurious hour said go,
but I was locked on a thimble in a glass case,

lost or left, now annotated. I looked into it:
recurring iris, vivisection, every spring

a new laboratory, new spell, what recurs, remains . . .
Fascination cupped this thing, this gleam,

for a hint of sense in its gape,
what wind was left just under its lip . . .

and got the wall of smell from the gate.
All the heft in a fingertip.