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Alone in a dream
The day the first coffins of the hunger strikers
were being carried through Belfast
I lay on the narrow bed of my prison cell
reading Conrad
the heavy steel door wedged open
so I could hear if Hetty
was coming down from the courts:
if I dream
I can see the traffic crossing the Rhine
my mother stockpiling tins and potted meats
in the pantry
my father greasing and hiding
the Luger he brought back from Germany.
Kurtz is inside
the incarcerated have one name
scratched into the walls
the diagrams of cunts and erections
are universal
without desire, as if we really
have nothing to say anymore
like all the righteous, solemn faces
under banners and placards
my lover sad in Brussels
my lover polishing
the marble floor in the foyer
and so the long procession
along streets familiar, yet meaningless
to plots without comfort
portakabins, security frisking, name giving
the suspicion of every visit
the suspension of the rooms we left that morning.