Spectacle in the Dark
(a ghazal)


“ . . . it became clear that torture often is carried out when a country ceases to believe in itself, and therefore there is a certain element of spectacle involved in it.”

—Elaine Scarry


Adult-sized diaper taped to my frame, I laid stripped in the dark

Your hate never choked on my dignity it only sipped in the dark


Praying in filth I dreamt I was a breeze drinking flowers

Eucalyptus in place of forced enema that dripped in the dark


Desiccated, my tongue’s memory began to misunderstand itself

But teeth knew your latex hands as they chipped in the dark


Electrodes curdled my milk; I cradled a hungry pain in my arms

Searching for nipples that lay somewhere clipped in the dark


Thinning, my skin couldn’t protect against your sharp deliverance

Clothless my body gave in deep when whipped in the dark


My genitals were “those images that yet fresh images beget”

Zoomed-in your camera's heartbeat skipped in the dark


Hurry and snap a thumbs-up with your collateral damage

Unzip the bodybag and click before again I'm zipped in the dark


Asim, does evil turn on an axis? Does it have a body? Does it cry?

Call it whatever you like; just see that its bud’s nipped in the dark

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