The Torturer Describes His Job
But my people heard not my voice...so I gave them up to the hardness of their hearts...
First you make them strip. It puts them off balance.
I always keep a poker face. They never can.
There's a rush of dread in their eyes,
and you know they're wishing they could be back home.
Their bed, their chair, their blanket—
that's what they want.
There's a science to causing pain.
You have to know how far to push it.
I keep them so cold they can't think straight.
I keep the lights on all the time.
I don't let them sleep.
I bend them and shackle them in ways
you might have thought were impossible.
I think to myself, You are a wall,
and I am going to break you down.
It's better if you're kind to them sometimes.
They'll look at you with this yearning,
as if you were their mother
and could fix this. So I'm always stern in the beginning,
but as time goes on, I'll let up a little.
Then they're full of gratitude.
Their feelings get hurt when I start again.
That weakens them.
Sometimes I get the tough guys,
the ones nobody else can break.
They're brought to me because I'm good.
I won't take no for an answer.
If I have to kill them,
I will kill them.
I'll hang them from ropes and listen to them sing
until blood turns their sweat to pink water.
I'll milk every vessel in their bodies
so they glow like the moonlight,
whiter than anything alive.
They will tell me what I want to know.
The web of life spreads farther than you think.
For every one I work on,
two hundred more will fear me.
You have to know you're right to do this job.
You have to stop your ears.
I don't deal in mercy. I leave that to God,
but I haven't seen him answer many prayers in here.
I hear them.
Even in this godforsaken place,
everyone calls on God.