The act did not begin here in this room. No. It did not
start with this rendition, this hooded man stumbling over cement.
It began instead in an airport in Boston, in a lawyer’s precision,
in a president’s fear that history would not be with him.
Bones lifted by a shirtfront, the man rises, then lies tilted, neck
arched, his world narrowed to a damp cloth that smells of dead men.
His musk lets go, dripping shamefully beneath the board
to mix with water that erases air. His breath, no breath.
His terror, all terror. Callused hands hold the ropes as he strains,
his heels kick at heaven, tendons snake along each trussed arm.
Outside, twilight falls, a desert darkens, and every belief chokes
on swirls of blood and doctrine in a place beyond a law,
without a name.

Published 2011 at Protestpoems.org, Writers for Human Rights: http://protestpoemsdotorg.blogspot.com/2011/11/jp-reese.html