DE PROFUNDIS OF MAXIMILIAN KOLBE (Prisoner #16670)
[Original written in Polish by Jerzy S. Sito (1973)]

Everyone abandoned me -
and here is the night of my soul.
Carbolic acid with a white tongue licks the concrete,
and the trace of human warmth dries out.
I would like to bundle myself into a small skein of thread,
in my heart -
I lie prostrate at the Cross.

Stillness - weak fists do not knock on the walls;
and nobody counts the time by the commander's steps.
My sight, like a homeless dog, searches for You on the walls, falls down,
and, famished, encamps over me.

Fear explodes like a star-bouquet in the twilight and dies out;
and later I can hear a cry from far away ---
Father, take away this chalice of bitterness!

I see that I am weakened . . .
My thoughts melt, like
the body in the crematorium. Let us Pray:
"Maryja!"

I fall in fear and despair;
All my weakness and pain I gather like flowers
and place at the feet o f Maryja. I feel her hands on my head;
she bends over me and quietly cries.
"Maryja!" such pain I will not tolerate!
I stand, run -
my blood covers the walls of my bunker.

The clatter of hooves are in my cell . . .
the rider stops;
in his hands holds the scales
and looks at me through his empty eye sockets.
I faint.
Again, She is close to me and smoothes my hair.
She says something . . .
her voice is sweet . . .
and quiet. . .
and pure;
She covers my heart with peace.

I collect my thoughts.
I arrange them in the ACT of shooting,
and from the inside of my hunger.
. . . from the bow strings of hunger,
like a burning arrow, a skyrocket of praise
rises and hangs in the high heavens -
for those insane from famine . . .
who hunger . . .
for You.

The bolt clinks and the heavy door creaks and opens;
to my enlarged pupils night appears...
white -
Where, oh death, is your sting?
Oh, my Lady. ..
Lady . . .
You have granted my request!

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