Caitlin Wolper: Unseen Equals Forgotten

The Nazi Flag in His Parents’ Attic


“Every woman adores a Fascist,

The boot in the face, the brute,

Brute heart of a brute like you.”

 –Sylvia Plath, “Daddy”


Purely a punk sentiment—
Sid Vicious wore a swastika
on his shirt: repulsion,
rebellion, shock, not
a sign of support
for the Fuhrer. Punk tries
to freak people out, you know?

Still, my boyfriend knows
to tell me as we enter the attic:
Just so you know, there’s some
Nazi stuff up here.

At first, I don’t see it, can forget:
we drink beneath sloped ceilings
by the drumkit; a disco ball scatters
light across our faces, palpitations
over the white leather couch:
but once we kiss I find
with a stab, the flag beside us;
can’t kiss again without the blood
red in my eye, dreaming
his boot black on my neck.

Unseen equals forgotten:
the next day, I sit
beneath the flag, its red specter
glowering; try not to recall the past
Halloween, when my boyfriend
dressed up as Sid Vicious,
I his murdered Nancy.

Caitlin Wolper's first chapbook "Ordering Coffee in Tel Aviv" is out from Finishing Line Press. A graduate of Penn State's BA/MA in creative writing, her work has been featured in Longleaf Review, Hooligan, Yes Poetry, Z Publishing’s Best Emerging Poets, the Voices Israel Anthology, and more. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works for New York Family and Teen Vogue.