What They Didn't See

Within the walls of an old prison

Rodrigo cries, honestly, to the lord for his crimes

Santiago, the priest, accepts the apology

In nomine patri et fili et spiriti sancti

 

A few crowded cells away, animal grunts are heard

Cristina makes love to her husband

Mario sweats and smiles to a faithful wife

They embrace, all bitterness erased

In nomine patri et fili et spiriti sancti

 

Baltasar, the guard, makes a pillow out of a twelve-gage

His eyelids closing for twelfth- thirteenth time in the past hour

The inmates behind him doze off in bliss

Dreams of friends and family

Dreams of tomorrow

In nomine patri et fili et spiriti sancti

 

The children of God sleep

As a spark falls from a naked wire

Striking urine scented mattresses

Dark clouds wrap and worm

Forsaken halls made darker still

HELP! Someone calls, choking

Screams end a quite night

Vermillion and orange lights dance with black smoke

Silhouettes claw upon the metal bars

Meal of the spider’s web

Banging, shouting, crying, choking, praying

 

Mistaken for war cries

 

Here come the stomping boots

Here come the tear gas cylinders

 

One yells

Ready!

YES SIR!

Aim!

YES SIR!

FIRE!

 

In the morning, the smell of crisp flesh and bone is rank

Headlines print in large font and bold

Must be a riot

Must be those hooligans

Must be the system

Just like that, history is written

 

Charred bodies litter this tomb

But imagine:

A corpse in prayer

Another with the book

Two in eternal embrace

And the eternal sentinel

Of the damned dreaming dead

In nomine patri et fili et spriti sancti

 

Guide that inspired this poem: 

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