“Soap” by Karina Borowicz

Karina Borowicz


Even as a child I knew it and my parents
couldn’t shield me from Sharon Tate and the Olympic
Games massacre, the hijackings, the war in Lebanon
not to mention the nuclear bomb and the bodies from Vietnam
coming off the planes in coffins, some of them hobbling off
on crutches and one leg. With a magnifying glass I pored over
Kennedy’s face thinking there must be some omen
I made a study of Hitler’s hands but even his fingernails
looked like anyone else’s, he trimmed them now and then
and washed with a bar of soap like I did, maybe even
my special way of spinning it around and around in my hands.

from Rattle #33, Summer 2010


Karina Borowicz: “My father taught history, and before I could read I was fascinated by photographs in the books that lined our walls, such as The Bolshevik Revolution and The Last Days of Hitler. By grade school I was reading many of my father’s books and newspapers. The world seemed filled with inexplicable cruelty. In the poem ‘Soap,’ a child grapples with this growing awareness of evil.” (web)

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