Bella Levenshteyn Tells Me of Her Dream

Last night I walked the corridor
Of a private Yad Vashem
On one side of the hall
Are the faces of the slaughtered
Stripped of their outer layers
Led to the fire
Returning to dust
No longer recognized as human
Yet fully human still

On the other side
The faces of the butchers
Lost in their outer layers
Leading millions to the fire
Turning into a well-oiled machine
Rising above humanity
Yet fully human still

I find my family portraits
On both sides of the hall

My father at five years old
Early white winter morning
Cradled in his father’s arms
Saying goodbye
Not realizing that it is their last goodbye

Grandpa Benyamin–
From whom I got my skin tone
And many other features–
Is scattered in a ditch among the others
No longer recognizable

Aunt Marxina
(About whom all I know is
She has my father’s eyes
“Was sixteen when she was taken by the Nazis”)
And she is taken away by her Aryan twin

And my uncle Moses
Who was a captain in the Soviet Army
I see him in that moment in the woods
Before he had to make that decision
To shoot or not to shoot himself

There is a thought in modern psychology
That every part of a dream
Is a part of the dreamer
The slaughtered and the butchers
Are all just parts
Of the same whole
I cry for all of them
I accept them all
Equally

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