Julia Bohm

Julia Bohm is a writer, photographer, and history enthusiast based in Ann Arbor. She has been published in Lost Tower Publications anthology “Greek Fire” and is to be featured in One Pause Poetry’s mp3 project. She is currently working on an elegy for her grandfather based off of his unpublished writing, which chronicles his life as Jew in Nazi occupied Austria, his eventual escape, and his father’s experience in Dachau. The submitted poems have been pulled from this elegy.

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In Order to Remember

Herodotus is the

father of history —

father of making

rotten fruit

ripe again. How

else to tell a

story? Start with

a body, be it

that of Rome, or

perhaps something

more unsettling,

like the unnamed

soldier, face-

down in a field.

Gather the bones,

leave the flesh.

You will not

need it, or else,
you will not

find it credible.

Be sure your

audience is

engaged.

Become the

god of night-

time. Don’t

tell anyone for

fear they may turn

against you.

Remember Catiline.

Who can say

what the conspiracy

was. Perhaps,

we are just

translating wrong.

Worship the truth

and relinquish

your belief in it

all at once.

Know:

there is no

remedy for

what you have

seen. Forget

the questions;

explain the

image in front of

you. Record

its genesis —

be it Cain,

or the policeman

down the

block.

Leave the corpse

untouched,

exactly where

you found it.

Become a

cemetery.

p

p

Vienna, November, 1938-

Love seems more like a reaping,             like every field coming upon harvest season at once.

             According to string theory, we can cut ourselves apart

                                                                                      from any place.                 It’s not true.

             There is always something to return to.                I attempted to dream

                                                                                                                                                  my father away.

I won’t apologize. 

                Two lovers lie face down in a river —     the river is new, the lovers are not.

                                             The town will blame tragedy                     on desire; the rest of us may scoff,

turn our heads to the side.

                No way to know if it was murder.           Find the weapon and I’ll believe the story.

                               Tonight, we can only love the pieces of ourselves that are dying.

                                                                                                        Build them a house instead of a coffin.    We expected more.pppp Expected our hearts to learn not to be                   such soft things.

                             Suddenly, sound of guns,             men with pitchforks at the gate:

              So the town was ransacked.        So no one expected such chaos —

                             cut to a shot of the schoolhouse, there are children, ppppppppthis is supposed to make

                             everything more immediate.       There is someone to save.

                             The lovers are still

in the river.        Everyone is busy, there’s

                                                                                         no one to officiate a ceremony. ppppppSome things happen, and there’s

                                                                                         nothing to be done but

                                                                                         shake your head, and leave the bodies where

                                                                                                                                      they are.

So love severed a few limbs,      used its teeth more than necessary.ppppp It’s a crusade,

you see,               a sort of godless pilgrimage.

              There is sweat on the brow.

                                                                                                       Find the weapon and I’ll believe you.

              Give me this one thing — not to heal, rather,

                                                                                                        to drag the bodies from the river,

                                                                                                                                                     to obliterate.

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