Juliana Gray, "May Morning, Dachau"




Already thinking of ash,

before the metal gate,


the gravel yard, so large,

the unexpected birdsong-- 


then the barracks footprints,

neat rectangles laid


like raised flowerbeds

growing only stones--


the footbridge over a stream

filled with shining coins,


finally the path

to the crematorium,


the air alive with seeds

of swaying poplar trees


the curators must have planted

to create this very image--


white, cottony tufts

alighting on your skin,


your hair, drifting down

so beautifully, so wrong.



Juliana Gray’s second poetry collection, Roleplay, won the 2010 Orphic Prize and was published in 2012 by Dream Horse Press. A chapbook, Anne Boleyn's Sleeve, won the Winged City Chapbook Press 2013 poetry chapbook contest. Her poems have appeared The Journal, River Styx, PMS: poememoirstory, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere. Gray teaches at Alfred University.