They have let loose a carpentry workshop on him:
clothes off and on the tenterhook, hands in the vice bench
and chop chop the mortise chisel, his back with the bradawl
We could not reach him, he was hiding
on the other side of the wood, behind the riveting stake.
We did not hear him scream because we were staring
into the skies in concentration and tracing the hobby falcon
bracing itself to pierce a young swallow with the spikes
of its claws.
Or we cast our horoscopes
to learn when we were to wash ourselves
when we were to dig up the dollars
when we were to throw the bars of soap out of the window.
He was known as an opponent and the regime
deployed a guard. Not that he would ever
move again and certainly wouldn’t escape
but to prevent us from finding evidence.
I do not even know in which country we are
in which part of the world, under which secret police.
There are slums, fishermen, videos. There is a Trojan
horse, a wartime navy. But you find those everywhere.