He told me to read,
and plucked my left eye from its orbit.
He slashed the glowing globe of the other.
Knowledge leaked out:
loose threads dangling,
the reverse side of a tapestry.
He told me to speak and squeezed
dry dust between my teeth.
I spouted a diet of Catechism and Confession.
He emptied my mind of poetry and history.
He destroyed the myths of my people.
He filled me with fantasies from a far off land.
I live in a desert where people die of thirst,
yet he talked to me of a man who walked on water.
On all sides, as stubborn as stucco,
the prison walls listened, and learned.
I counted the years with feeble scratches.
For an hour, each day, the sun shone on my face;
for an hour, each night, the moon kept me company.
Broken worlds lay shattered inside me.
Dust gathered in my people’s dictionary.
My heart was a weathered stone
withering within my chest.
I longed for the witch doctor’s magic,
for the healing slash of wind and rain.
The Inquisitor told me to write out our history:
how his church
to save us.
Note: I am still working on Sun and Moon. It will be ready for publication on Amazon and Kindle some time this week. Monkey Temple, Though Lovers Be Lost, Bistro, and Empress of Ireland are now available for review or purchase on Amazon and Kindle.