Torture is a poem written about the psychological effects of torture. I am opposed to torture under any circumstances, not just for the fact that its results are often inaccurate, but because of what it does to the body and the mind.
This poem describes how the mind unravels, and ends by saying that it is never the same again.
Listen! Listen. The voice was once tenor:
Imagine—yes, and just consider—yesterday he was silent.
Our clips snap tightly, our pliers are handy,
our clamps are unforgiving, our machines
Some things are working right around here.
We don’t even have to be too cautious.
As with all open secrets there is a
wink, a nudge to the vacillators, a cold
hard ethical argument to the protestors, and then
the show goes on.
The show must go on.
On the one hand we sit at a round table
and discuss the pros and morals of
torture. This, while people’s
worlds are being unraveled, a skein of
yarn held by a thread, dropped from a
The demolition of a sturdy warm home,
tall, distinguished, memories in every cranny.
All that is left is the thread, the
The skein, the home, the soul—deconstructed.
It is the metamorphosis of butterfly—
vividly colored, light—into caterpillar.
From caterpillar to cocoon. Cocoon to seed.
It is a human eclipse.
It is a vanishing.