We took your food and in a few days you'll see we took your excrement. We've devised such intricate rules. We've agreed, signed papers. We took the papers. We took your pain, your dignity. We took your language and watched as religion fell from you. We took your death, strung it as a jewel on a silver chain and showed it to you as just another thing you don't have.
First published in American Poet. Copyright © 2010 by Carl Adamshick. From Curses and Wishes (Louisiana State University Press, 2011). Used by permission of the author.