habeas corpus*—you have the body

the body contains
the brain
the brain filled
with memories
you have

the body of the man
taken thirteen years ago
taken to be tormented
you have his

tortured body
memory container
of all he loved
of all he lost
when his body

was taken
to be shamed and denied
during years of endless
while you tortured
the body
while you tried to break
the spirit

in the body
what is the yield?  only
more questions, more loss
for the spirit in his body
for the spirits in our bodies

the guards, the interrogators,
the tormenters, the clean fingered
decision makers, the justifiers, the liars,
the lawyers and petitioners, the defenders
and deniers, the judges and generals,
and me—tax-payer, co-criminal,

complicit question-asker
who finds nothing
but heart-breaking answers
soul-breaking damage—his
ours—you have

the body
bring the body
here, free
the body
so the spirit may be free

bring the body of the man
that should
never have been taken
never have been confined
never tormented

no undoing this damage
this damage to the body
this damage to the spirit
this damage to our bodies
our spirits

because we have remained silent.
because we have ignored it.
because we have not worked hard enough
to stop it.
we have not spoken the right words.
we have not stood together in our outrage
often enough, long enough…..you

have the body.
habeus corpus
bring the body

into this day
into the light
and freedom
of this pulsing truth
this living day
* The “Great Writ” of habeas corpus is a fundamental right in the Constitution (Article 1-Section 9) that protects against unlawful and indefinite imprisonment. Translated from Latin it means “show me the body,” or “you shall have the body.”  That is, the judge or a court must have the person charged with a crime bodily brought into the courtroom to hear what he’s been charged with.  Habeas corpus has historically been an important instrument to safeguard individual freedom against arbitrary executive power.    https://www.aclu.org/other/what-you-should-know-about-habeas-corpus    More info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habeas_corpus_in_the_United_States


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