Hunger Strike at Sincon Prison
Starvation seems sustenance itself.
Sometimes, the images beneath her eyelids
are clean and cool, water rocking through
her brain, then hot - she can't remember why
she's here. She remembers only dust.
Her body's a flare, shot over Cell
Block F. A desert wind lifts off
the roof, the prisoners curl in bare
cement cubes; piped-in music pitched
so high the deafened ears weep for silence.
I'm transplanting raspberries; caught on their
sweet thorns, fruit smears my bloody lips
as the BBC channel reports
this will be the Turkish woman's 225th
day on sugar water. A hummingbird,
adrift in solitude, settles for a moment
at the red plastic feeder on the deck.
So the morning floats forward like a mouth,
mouth to mine. Leaning on the shovel,
the blade breaks through tangled roots into
an anteroom where crypts of bulbs survive
on phosphorescence given off by dying
bodies. This is how we fall, forever
exiled to a cell where she lies mumbling,
head resting on a saffron scarf. The floor
weeps; she's chewed the scarf to strings
as the sun-lashed walls closed in. Fear
is for the body and she's beyond it -
willing her days to the man in the cell
whose tongue she saw removed. Red-fleshed
poppies slip between the bars, her eyes
blaze open, slowly then, she eats.