all reason in stillness dies by DB Cox

i sit in this monochrome room
nodding into the dusty half-light
that filters through air holes in the ceiling
my fists are down to the bone
from pointless pounding
against stone
my heart is wasting away
one burnt-out cell at a time
nothing in this gray box is real
not the bench where I sit
not the filthy
sweat-stained mattress
on the floor
not the now meaningless words
of defiance
scratched into concrete walls
ancient rallying cries
that once burned blood red
gone cold
as the nameless men
who breathed them

a steel door slams
the “laughing man”
makes his way down the corridor
carrying his “tools of persuasion”

i have nothing of value to give up
i have become a “lab animal”
for the imagineers of torture
twisted men in white collars
who stand with the guards
& watch as the fat man
in the tan uniform
puts the puppet through his paces

when the blinding beam of light
is turned on my face
they expect a show
i will not let them down
there are no longer any limits
to my capacity for pain
i have learned to play out
the implications of my sacred role
in this comedy of suffering
every inquiry & response
from the repetitious interrogation
has been burned by time
into my brain

when prodded with the electric baton
i ask myself the standard questions
& reply with my usual denying answers
i am both the “inquisitor” & the “accused”
to prove to myself
that I still exist
i must hear
the sound of my voice…

“Prisoner number 99, where is your brother, Aali, the terrorist?”

“I do not know this man.”

“We will free you if you tell us where he is.”

“I have no brother.”

“99, are you not a religious fanatic and radical terrorist?

“No. I am a military veteran of this country and recepient of the “Silver Star.”

another searing jolt
i do not scream
i begin to cry
the idiot tears of a madman
the audience is amused
by this one-man inquisition
the fat man howls
with derisive laughter

i am a ghost in imaginary revolt
inside a bone-cold manhole
where no banners fly
no drums roll
no fires blaze
there are no dying screams
from the martyr
no holy names to invoke
all reason
in stillness dies
with only the wind
to howl
& lament its demise




2 Responses to “all reason in stillness dies by DB Cox”

  1. sometimes hurt is just hurt

  2. Carter Monroe Says:


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