David Sullivan

"This Night Which Felt Like 1,000 Nights
for Nori Samir Gunbar Al-Yasseri, Abu Ghraib

Smell of his own breath,
rancid animal of fear,
underneath the hood
they have tied down snug.
Fear, he tells himself, is part
of being human,
only part, and theirs
smells worse than his. No Allah
breathes inside their fear.
They’re only pissing
on a book. Islam’s a faith
written on the tongues
of a million mouths.
The black hood is a given,
and alcohol-slurred
words of his captors.
Mohammed shuddered when he
felt the angel’s breath
traveling through him.
He thought he’d go blind or die,
but that’s how stones see.

(author retains copyright)