Stations of the Cross

Guatemala, 1989

there was a garden where my prayers
ripened on a pergola

there was a windowless cell where three
centurions raped me
& ground out their cigarettes on my skin

there was a pit filled with rotting corpses
where they threw me because
I begged for death

there was a urine-soaked mausoleum where
a woman fashioned me a smile out of
the last frayed tendrils of her strength

there was a hospital x-ray room
where I had to strip naked once more
for a thorough examination

there was only a fist-sized clot of blood
where my heart used to knock
so gently
for admittance

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