February 25, 2013 7:46 p.m.

Donald Ray
If not but for the Pakistani thread count
We would be preparing today
To find you in the past tense;
Terrorized by a solitary cell
Where seizures attacked your sleep
And only luck prevailed
If someone heard your thrashings;
Haunted by the mental picture
Of guards standing, watching once again
Rather than forcefully ordering your door opened
To provide you needed assistance;
Five days without sleep
You are starting to hallucinate
Terrified of going into your cell
Where sleep has hurt—dehumanized;
You, as did John Terry, make your peace
The baffled guard watches you jump
He calls the code for a guard being attacked
Many guards and nurses watch you thrash on the floor;
It is just a prisoner hurt
The shift commander orders most to leave
No attempt to stabilize your neck
Only a threat to taser you if you did not calm down;
You are chained up
Then placed in a wheel chair
Your head sags forward
As you are wheeled out the door;
Your pleas for treatment are now heard
They hear your humanity
As they strip you naked
And place you in an intentionally cold suicide cell;
Is it compassionate to say,
“If it was an American thread count
we would be preparing today
to find you in the past tense?”

—derrick q


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