Christmas Island, Australia, July 2014

Well, This Is What I Think

detainee

CHRISTMAS ISLAND, AUSTRALIA,
JULY 2014 ~ A POEM

She takes a bottle,

smashes it against a breeze block

they used to build the barracks

that bake at noon and sweat at midnight.

Sorts out a piece of glass

sharp, fits neatly in her hand

draws it across her slender wrist

a green transluscent bow ’cross a brown cello.

She lies back, deeply tired.

More tired than she thought possible

sun incessant on her face

and, dignified, hoses her life over the wooden steps.

Within a few minutes they come running.

Rush her to the infirmary

wrapping her, scolding her,

but she is silent, crying silent, bleeding silent.

A dozen at least like this, they say,

because if they die their children

will have a golden future.

Dreaming of the lucky country.

And in the Ministerial offices

a man with glasses and a poor haircut

says we do not comment on detainee self-harm

we could not possibly…

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