The Throats of Guantánamo

Katie Ford

 
Morning opens with the comforts of my unbeaten body
a tinkerer’s stack of quiltings and cannings the cloth finch

half-attached to a mobile of warblers and wrens
in the meantime my country sends post to mothers and fathers

back again fly a trinity of boys
with their throats torn out

simultaneity drinks twig tea and stitches
a hidden seam

I take a string to a bittern’s back and tie it
to the looping newborn delight

then read of each strangulation no bone or larynx
for proof maybe each part was tossed to bay

a medieval saint was asked what would you do if you knew
it was the end of the world

I’d dig in my garden he said
oh saint it’s a good answer

but here the end is torn out
one by one.
 
Copyright © 2013 by Katie Ford. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on August 15, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Poems by This Author

Breaking Across Us Now by Katie Ford
I began to see things in parts again
Colosseum by Katie Ford
I stared at the ruin, the powder of the dead
Koi by Katie Ford
Song After Sadness by Katie Ford
Despair is still servant
[I Failed Him and He Failed Me] by Katie Ford
I failed him and he failed me


Further Reading

Politics and Patriotism
Howl, Parts I & II
by Allen Ginsberg
America
by James Monroe Whitfield
America
by Claude McKay
America
by Robert Creeley
American History
by Michael S. Harper
American Names
by Stephen Vincent Benét
Bomb Crater Sky
by Lam Thi My Da
Dear George Bush
by Kristin Prevallet
December 2, 2002
by Juliana Spahr
Delicate Cluster
by Walt Whitman
Dolphinating
by Juan Felipe Herrera
Election Day, November, 1884
by Walt Whitman
Election Year
by Donald Revell
Exquisite Candidate
by Denise Duhamel
Exquisite Politics
by Denise Duhamel
Fellini in Purgatory
by Jean Valentine
Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind
by Carl Sandburg
How We Did It
by Muriel Rukeyser
I, Too, Sing America
by Langston Hughes
In a Country
by Larry Levis
it: a user’s guide
by Evie Shockley
Let America Be America Again
by Langston Hughes
Modern Declaration
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Our Post-Soviet History Unfolds
by Eleanor Lerman
Patriotics
by David Baker
Praise Song for the Day
by Elizabeth Alexander
Thanksgiving Letter from Harry
by Carl Dennis
The Condoleezza Suite [Excerpt]
by Nikky Finney
Thoughts
by Walt Whitman
To Roosevelt
by Rubén Darío