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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