Razor Wire                                                © David Campbell

My daughter sleeps, cradled in razor wire, suspended
through the long hot night from pin-pricks of light
that once were stars above the mosques of Chabahar
on the Gulf of Oman. She dreams
of puff-ball clouds on the slopes of Kuh-e Damavand,
white sails fluttering like silken moths on the Caspian Sea.
Her dream is sliced/
slit from its cobweb skin
every four hours by the steel-mesh voices of stone-faced guards.
Who are you? Wake up! Where are you from?
Invisible droplets of blood form in the open wound,
fall as tears in the dark red dirt of the compound
where a slippery-dip,
mute symbol of our despair, stands
amid a tumble of plastic garden chairs.

The winter snows marked our leaving, a white shroud
cloaking the past in a blanket of fear
thrown carelessly by men,
soft fold upon fold falling on hard ground.
Storm-tossed in the Strait of Hormuz we shouted our hope
to the wind, held our future,
glitter-bright, as a flickering candle
cupped in the palm of a hand. Our journey
had a beginning but no end.

Beyond the fence the wide brown land is a shimmering haze
with no horizon. Here, deep inside, the razor wire coils,
a vicious silver snake striking venom to the heart of darkness
my daughter is flayed alive,
each movement diced neatly
into segments, exposed
like the full-flesh
succulence of a ripe mango
prepared for a bureaucrat’s table.