You hold me hostage for eleven days
Lashed to a sweat-soaked bed
The restraints powerful, unseen.
My dehydrated mouth begs for refreshment
a waterfall could not sate.
Shaking legs and throbbing head
Hair matted and brittle
Emanating smells unrecognizable
Each tributary of my lungs now agents of your gloom.
Places or times or names are distant and confused,
while faces for whom I’m deeply ambivalent circle above,
turkey vultures awaiting the carcass.
Floating over clouds of anger, resentment at precious time sacrificed to your cruel wants.
The white noise of a jet without pause in my ears.
Your fingers icy cold,
my teeth chatter
yet I writhe from flame.
Ribbons of pain tie me into knots,
your pointed staff without surrender
probing my most tender spots.
Self pity at my fate.
Painting by Gerhard Richter (at At Home in Napa)