Chief of Police (poem by Nazim Hikmet, 1959)

Sun is like a scar in the sky

                                        bleeding out.

Airport.

Welcomers, hands on stomachs:

batons, jeeps,

prison walls, police stations

and ropes hanging from scaffolds

and civilians not visible to eye

and a kid could not stand torture

                        jumped off the third floor of Police Station.

And here comes Mr. Chief of Police

                        sir stepping off the plane

          returning from America

                        from occupational investigations.

They have investigated methods of not letting sleep

and they were very content

with the electrode connected to testicles

and also giving a conference on our coffin-cells

they explained the uses of

putting boiling eggs in arm pits,

burning and peeling neck skin with match-fire thinly.

Mr. Chief of Police stepping off the plane

returning from America

and batons jeeps

and ropes hanging from scaffolds

are cheering for the return of the maestro.

–Nazım Hikmet Ran / 1959

Translated: Gürkan Özturan

(coffin-cell torture chamber)

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