shot glass
Issue # 5 September 2011
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare


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On Duty

We had the prisoners so trained to pain,
familiar with incision and slice,
numb to puncture and exit,
that they wouldn't even scream
as they collapsed
engulfed in flame.

They thought they held something back,
some ambiguous gasp behind clenched teeth
designed to drive us mad with inquiry,
but when their bodies hit the floor,
jaws slacked and lungs deflated,
we heard hope spill upon concrete
like so much drool from dreamers,
our laughter soaking it up like pillows.