Krevchinsky froze his ass off on the Siberian plain. The gray concrete box was traded for concrete gray skies, the whistle of the truncheon gives way to winter’s blasts. It was in many ways easier when the beatings came neatly marking the days dividing days between pain and exhaustion, all under the watchful eye of the meek incandescent sun dangling from the ceiling. In the camp day and night are reflections of an unseen clock, seasons slide from discontent to depression. The prison of the body is finite built block on block, the prison of the soul is vast, empty, dissipating life.
First appeared in HazMat Review, Vol. 1, No. 2 (1996) and later in Legal Studies Forum, Vol. 30, Nos. 1-2 (2006).
If I asked you for one word how would you answer? In your dreams, do you have both arms, can you write your thoughts on a scrap of paper and tuck it away? You had a lover, once, and he would trace his finger along your thigh. Do you miss that touch as you rub the jagged scar? Can you taste the lamb simmered slowly, fragrant, the sauce dredged by the crusty bread, or do you only taste the hard tack tossed from the truck? If they gave you back your tongue and I asked you for one word how would you answer?
First published in “Eureka Literary Magazine, Vol. 5, No. 2,(c) 1997, Eureka College