I speak for these broken legs
and bleeding skulls lying all over this lawn,
for the street dwellers singing war songs all day,
marching with banners
that spell death for stone-faced despots.
I speak for the women, children, men oppressed
just because they carry no guns.
I speak for those seized from their homes after midnight,
beaten to pulp, for pregnant women kicked about in the groin,
left to bleed and die while their toddlers look on.
I speak for babies crying for breast milk, their feeble muscles jerking like headless cows
left to die on the floors of the slaughterhouse.
I speak for students snatched from their dorms, whisked away to pain stalls, unseen.
I speak for professors questioned for hours about things they didn’t say, for scientists yanked from their labs with their stained lab coats
in the hands of the police.
I speak for you out there with broken limbs and no arm—
you whose left leg and right arm were snatched at a rally,
you whose toes secret police chopped at the barracks,
you hiding bloody teeth from a street bystander,
you with handcuffs sitting quietly in the middle of the road, you staring curfew in the face as beer gets warm in the bar,
you kidnapped from a village bar at midnight.
A light burns above your head.