H e a r t   S o n s   &   H e a r t   D a u g h t e r s   of   A l l e n   G i n s b e r g

N a p a l m   H e a l t h   S p a :   R e p o r t   2 0 1 4 :   A r c h i v e s   E d i t i o n





 Abu Ghraib



the prisoner wears a black pointed hood; he stands, arms

extended as in crucifixion, wires attached to his hands:


who set him up like this?  who set him up?  what childhood,

what parents, neighbors, knew those who could snap this


memento from the cage?  & here, a grinning man, arms crossed,

a woman leaning forward, laugh over prisoners jammed


together naked, heads in hoods.  this man and this woman-

what hearts did they have as they returned to silent rooms,


alone?  or this young woman who smiles, thumbs up, fingers pointing down

at the cock of a hooded prisoner, hands tied above his head––


already she claims she was forced, others were responsible, yet

now the prisoner cannot live in his own home town; shamed.


here, the corpse has a bandage under his right eye, agony stamped

in his dead face:  he is wrapped in cellophane, packaged in ice.


in congress, rumsfeld stammers & stalls, suggesting darker

tales to come:  what is it, now, to call oneself American?



[Originally published in NHS 2004, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs04/David_Cope.html.]