He told me to read,
and plucked my left eye from its orbit;
he slashed the glowing globe of the other.
Knowledge leaked out: loose threads dangling,
the reverse side of a tapestry.
He told me to speak,
and squeezed dry dust between my teeth.
I spouted a diet of Catechism and Confession.
He emptied my mind of poetry and history.
He destroyed the myths of my people.
He filled me with fantasies from a far off land.
I live in a desert where people die of thirst,
yet he talked to me of men walking on water.
On all sides, as stubborn as stucco,
the prison walls listened, and learned.
I counted the years with feeble scratches:
one, four, two, three;
for an hour, each day, the sun shone on my face;
for an hour, at night, the moon kept me company.
Broken worlds lay shattered inside me.
Dust gathered in my people's
My heart was a weathered stone
withering within my chest.
It longed for the witch doctor's magic,
for the healing slash of wind and rain.
The Inquisitor told me to write out our history:
I wrote how his church had come to save us.