I am grateful that the screws 
Are slackened and 
The ropes not so tight.
Inquisitioner is taking tea today,
Away discussing me no doubt.
Darkness starts to lift 
Within my eyes -
I will not give in.

I grin and bear it
Day in, day out,
And they don't know what to do 
To break me.
I have had the rack - my body
Tautened till the bones began to
Unknit and slack;
I have had the scourge
That slices-up the skin
Till I become a tattered man;
And my nails, one by one
I croaked them gone.
My hands are withered things,
Stunted, they curl like dying flowers.

I have known the glowing iron:
His gouge and burning kiss, the eating one,
Known the stench of my own skin 
Warping.  It binds the throat.
I believe
I have ever been 
This flat, needy thing.

They feed me well enough 
So that these walls
Hear me howl freshly
Each day
But I won't give in.

I am an all-coloured thing -
Red and black and blue, but
My eyes are still green,
Still bright and true.
My body may be marred beyond
Repair, but I am still here.

I feel myself bleed -
My red flow blends with the wood.
Living still, I know life
Pulses within, slow, a glimmer
Of roses and the cool beam
Of the moon on the wall
Heatens me.  I am capricious yet.
My soul is hid deep, deep, where they
Cannot cut it.

My hands are pinned
Crosswise to this wood
And my feet ironed-in -
I have stood upright never -
There has been no other life 
Than this.
All that went before 
Has dimmed and gone
But the Inquisitioner
Won't make me give in.
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