Sheikha A.

Clean Sheet

I am sitting between bunks; the room outside

smells of tangy cleanliness, the kind that sticks

to the walls of your throat; where wheat-white

faces begin to look like the words in your file;

           

the room inside smells of bleach-scoured hope

and flashlights invoking de-hued irises, where it is

appropriate for a man to sit on your chest

and pronounce you in the form: time of death.