Time Stands Still

by David Allen Sullivan

I sail in my dreams,
I am dreaming of home.
~ Osama Abu Kabir, from Poem s from Guantanamo

 

For a Casio,
          for the way its back case can
                    come undone, expose

the mechanism
          that can be wired to a bomb.
                    For a Casio,

whose silver face glistened
          when he washed himself for prayers.
                    For a Casio

the U.S. manual
          labeled al Qaeda’s favored
                    
detonation device.

For a Casio
          he’d glance at, spinning the wheel
                    hand over hand on

his way to drop off
           that one last water shipment.
                    Amman’s sun burning

off its hard scarred face.
          For a Casio he’d got
                     before he was to leave

for Afghanistan.
          Over tea the watch was eyed.
                    Digital readout

bathed the tent in green
          when he rose to step outside
                     and pee beneath stars.

For a Casio
          that set the Marines jabbering;
                    it was the first thing

confiscated, first
           reason suspicions were raised.
                    It remains, plastic wrapped,

labeled evidence,
          
in a Guatanamo desk,
                    while Kabir hunkers

in detention’s night,
          time stopped, his wrist’s memory
                    of it turning black.

 

David Allen Sullivan’s first book of poetry—Strong-Armed Angels—was published by Hummingbird Press in 2008. His second book, a series of poems concerning the Iraq war, Every Seed of the Pomegranate, will be published in Spr ing, 2012.