when they raided my house they found a Koran by Jon Marcantoni

How long have you been here?

When I still had a window, I counted every sunrise, but now I can't say. When they put me here I was at 26, then I tried counting each breakfast, but the meals started to blend--bread and water, water and bread, bread, water and grapes, then I was sick, and I lost count. The last day I remember was 42.

Have you had a hearing?

Have you?

No, I haven't seen a lawyer either. I thought I would see a lawyer.

I saw a lawyer on day 12, they said I was accused of terrorist activity.

Were you building a bomb?

No, but when they raided my house they found a Koran. The lawyer said--

When you were arrested, did they say it was for something different?

All I recall was a lot of yelling, American accents, I couldn't pick out the words, head slammed against a wall. More yelling. Right to remain silent. 12 days till I saw a lawyer. More waiting.

So no hearing?

Would it have mattered?

It would have given me dignity. It would have given me a name, said by a judge, instead of a number, said by a guard.

There is no dignity in a cage. A name is an act of love. There is no love here.

I didn't even get to see a lawyer, or be told my rights. That's no longer the law in this country. You arrive at an airport, leave in a van, you are assigned a number, 3 days ago, upstairs is overcrowded, so they sent me here.

Time won't matter soon for you. You will learn to rely on your mind. To rely on the spaces in each fold of your mind. Distract you from the flames at the end of the hall. The worlds outside these bars blocks is false. Your dreams are all you have. Your dreams are real.

My dream was to find a safe place to live.

That is not a dream, that is a lie the world told you to control you. A safe place is not for our kind, with dirty hands, dirty faces, dirty names turned into clean numbers, easy to pronounce. This cage is the safest you will ever be. The world is made for others.

Then my dreams must live in a cage too?

Dreams are nonsense, as is this life. Focus less on the happy dreams and more on the ones with half thoughts and jagged edges. The more sense a dream has, the bigger a lie it tells.