Aside

It exists today, another foul descent,
where thousands of sickening acts are set:
Saydnaya – Assad’s concrete playhouse,
a lowly spectacle, directed from Damascus,
those dark rehearsal rooms set for Death.

He stands blindfolded, a metre above,
as if waiting on the missing prompt,
knowing this, now, is his unseen drop:
He prays too fast his final lines,
having suffered others’ rehearsal cries.

In the darkened cells, dragging overhead,
there is still no sign of anyone’s God,
instead an ark of the beaten remains,
humans left alive to endure the pain,
hourly woken by screams from this show,
which plays out each night on the floor below.

A last dance of kicks in strangulation:
The skinny ones flailing fast,  hung prostrations.
Then, under direction, their legs are grabbed,
and with that embrace their final warm breath.

And we will watch, us, the streaming audience,
the dig and lift of Saydnaya’s murdered,
from under loosened mounds in that desert:
Syria’s long dead then all laid head-to-toe
in the revival of evil’s latest show.


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