Intimacy – by Margot Wizansky

Sobibor Concentration Camp, Poland, 1943

Sara knew exactly
how many lashes
Jakob took on his buttocks.
She counted in a low whisper
while Jakob shouted,
eins, zwei, drei! louder and louder,
until viciousness
was exhausted.
And it took eighteen thrusts
for the drunken guard
to spend himself in her,
fall away in stupor.
After the breakout,
in the hayfield where
they hid half a mile
from the gates,
Jakob held her,
just holding,
expecting nothing,
and Sara touched the scars
on his nakedness
as if touch alone could heal.


Margot Wizansky’s manuscript, The Yellow Sweater, was published by Kelsay Press, 2023. Wild for Life, chapbook memoir of her near-death experience, was published by Lily Poetry Review, 2021. Her poems are in journals: New Ohio Review, Spillway, Cimarron, Missouri Review, Bellevue Literary Review. She edited Mercy of Tides, Rough Places Plain, What the Poem Knows, Tribute to Barbara Helfgott Hyett. Carlow University awarded her residency at Isle of Innisfree, Ireland, Writers@Work, a fellowship in Salt Lake City. She transcribed the oral history of her friend, Emerson Stamps, his grandparents, enslaved, his parents, sharecroppers. Missouri Review featured her poems about him.