Late at night or early in the morning between hours of static, come urgent announcements
over a radio in another room. Puzzling, antagonizing bits filter through the walls mixing
with the hissing of steam pipes. Chamberlain is making prudent deals with the devil
while Daladier and Bonnet applaud with their hands and their tongues.

When the room light is off, street light floods the window with insane shadows.
I feel surreal, comfortably detached under my blankets.
Down the hall in the commons, a woman giggles and moans
while that radio in the other room chatters on.

No sound is louder than any other and none of it louder than the shadows
but the radio has gravity. It invades my dreams. It nearly wakes me. It wants me;
that damn radio with the news.

The radio doesn’t know anything of reality.
Its fractured voices are full of fractured ideas;
None of them are good.
I don’t understand
German or Czech or French or even English.
I don’t understand Germans or Slavs or the French
or even myself.

S.C.