orange over me
upon still solemn sidewalk
silent under black
My breathing quickens.
the truth is too tight:
innocent men are confined
tortured to death
in the name of national security
The cells of my eyes water what my heart holds.
my love, Jesus, tortured by thorns, nails, cross
laments stab while questions weigh on a helpless body
centuries later the crowds still scream crucify
My bones grind and stiffness sets into sore feet and knees.
prayers are uttered into Mary’s ear, as she knows
secrets of torture techniques told
“feels like drowning two hundred times.”
“hanging by wrists for hours, no sleep.”
My body shudders with shame.
trying to yell NO the over-used too old sign bares challenge:
let it close, it needs to end.
sorrow looks through cloth pores
there, no dignity
here, fashions rush by wasting fast food, texting into cellular phones
ignoring the pain of the ugly orange body
I don’t understand.
Yesterday, June 23, I vigiled with a few other members of Witness Against Torture on a sidewalk at a busy intersection in Chicago. I wore an orange jumpsuit and a black hood like the men who are imprisoned at Guantanamo. (I am the second person from the left in the photo above.) I stood as a reminder of what tax dollars still pay for. While I prayed in solidarity for all who suffer because of torture, others answered questions. And, at the same time, 15 protesters were arrested in Washington DC for disrupting the discussion on the defense bill in the House of Representatives. Today, the day after I had the intense experience of wearing that ugly outfit, Guantanamo is still open. I will never be the same because of what I felt inside that hood. My prayer and work for justice has deepened.
May God bless all our bodies. Amen.