Collective Unrest

 

Hi-Tech Silencing

October 2, 2019

Remembering the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi
October 2, 2019
 

a syringe needle jabbed through his white cotton thobe

and the screaming stops, his thrashing body quiets down,
a blade whirls and four fingers drop, are caught in a Ziploc bag
then the thumb, the rest of the hand, in another bag
the wrist and beyond, the blade slicing muscle and bone
the chest still breathing gently

a forensic expert and his elite Saudi team at work

the hi-speed buzzing blocked by headsets streaming gorgeous music,
a tremendous refinement over the Inquisitor’s wrack
that crude device for fraying muscle and cracking bones
the heretic’s screaming unstoppable
until he faints, his bloody corpse dragged away and dumped

remaining fingers neatly sliced away – the criminal fingers

guilty of typing dissident analysis of royal rulers,
their abuse of power, the need for uncensored journalism,
the beheading is next, blade whirling through offending brain
the rest of the body sliced as quickly as possible
into portable parts

boxes packed with Ziplocs are stacked on a cart

and wheeled to autos waiting to depart.
        time of death – unrecorded 
        certificate of death – none issued
        funeral service – none announced
        burial – trash bins here and there, the body parts pleading for justice
 
 
 
 
 
In past years Bill has been an English instructor, visual artist, social-work clinician, and activist for progressive causes. Now in the autumn of life, still an activist, he is a writer.

      

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