Please, don’t come near
I’m pregnant. Spare me
O brother! Don’t you have sisters?
See, I’m like your sister
You don’t do dirty things to your sister, do you
I’m eight months pregnant
My child will die
They pointed gun at me
Asked to cook, give them bed
How could I say no when I saw death before me
Please believe me
I’m a poor woman
I know nothing about Saddam
I don’t recognize Bin Laden
I have to work dawn to dusk
To feed my family
My husband is a bonded labourer
Please don’t come near
Why are you pulling my maxi
You want to corrupt expectant mother
Don’t you fear God!
If I knew this was what I was to pay
For giving shelter to the terrorist
I would have faced the gun instead
At least my child would not have witnessed this horror
Forgive me, my unborn child
I could not save you
That’s what I’m hearing
The voice is distant
Yet pierces my heart
I try to become insensible against her suffering
I place my clotted hands
On the cold cemented floor
Pain eases. Is she a terrorist?
A pregnant terrorist!
I hear cries,
I can’t understand what she is saying
Her voice is choked
Death would have been easier for her
I wish her death
How long does it take to self-heal
Wounds on your lips
I’m waiting for my turn
To be taken away
Blindfolded. Hands and feet cuffed.
And then face a death squad
Perhaps, I will be chosen to live
Here, everyone is not condemned to death
The old man who said
His son was a migrant worker in Syria
Came back after the interrogation
He said they whipped him
Even fired a bullet that hit his left ear
But let him live
Two days later he came to me, dressed properly
Asked my address
Said, he will give message to my family
That I’m alive.
Is this the living?
My hunger never satiated
Thirst never quenched
I can’t ask them for water
They will pee over me
I pick up bread pieces from the floor
I don’t want to waste anything
Don’t know when I will get to eat again
I want to go to bathroom
But can I survive their batons
Even my barn is more spacious
We are cramped here
There I see a boy
Perhaps 14 years or maybe 15, but no more than 17
Was he Taliban?
Did he kill Americans
Hurl bombs over the patrolling army?
He says he was going to school
Taliban kidnapped him
Made him dig a trench,
Carry bombs and ammunitions
Always on gun point
From frying pan, he fell into the fire
I want to listen to his stories
But poor soul, could not sustain electric shocks
On the bare floor he remains unconscious
I don’t see that girl
Last time I saw her
She was bleeding below her waist
She tried to walk
But fell on the floor
Two men in fatigue
Pulled her by her hand and dumped in the corner
In the morning she was gone
I look at my swelling legs
Will I be able to walk to the interrogation room?
Blood clotted shirt is stuck on my body
Do I have to take out my shirt to face the squad?
Can my sore throat utter
Words to justify myself
At the last hour
What will I remember
Wife? Son? Daughter?
My country people, forgive them
But do not forget what happened to me
What happened to us!
Inside Abu Ghraib!