Back in the day, not long ago I had my lot of pain and woe. I bled and quivered, head to toe, I floated in a haze. Like in a movie I once watched A shadow in the door emerged. I was immediately scorched By his malicious gaze. Authoritatively he barked: "Get down! Face the wall!" They tied me up and went to work In methods manifold. Their leader, looking grim and cold, Began the note-taking. I recognized a criminal Casefile in the making. At first the icy fingers grabbed My throat. Then I felt a jab Down in my gut. They took a stab At my afflicted liver. The blow rattled my ribcage. My insides twisted up in rage. The pen spat blood into the page. The paper only shivered. Yes, I felt like a goner As I stripped and didnít cringe. An old hag in the corner Was preparing a syringe! Inside my body, very deep, I felt the terror ringing: What if the shot puts me to sleep, And then I would start singing? He briefly labored on my gut, Then tied my elbow with a knot. A tourniquet cut off the blood. My head was also tied. I almost let out a squeal, But then my lips were shut and sealed, As he just sweated, head to heel, And scribbled with delight. He radiated ecstasy, But I just shouted: "Stop! "What are you jotting? Let me see "The shit youíre making up!" His goon, a classic psychopath, Restrained me, with elation. Upon a table gleamed like death The weapons of persuasion. Though I could hang tough with the best, I was subdued, I was suppressed, So I collapsed, I got depressed, And even kinda bored. I lay there naked in the glow, As he sat at the table low, Kept taking notes, even though I hadnít said a word! I was exhausted. I would need All of my strength to surge When they start tickling my feet - Yes, with a blowtorch! Though bilious, I stayed afloat - Unwavering, unbowed! They stuck a tube right down my throat, But I just spat it out! A vise grip and a stranglehold... I watched their wickedness unfold. They wanted to dissect my soul: A push, a shove, a grope... It only takes a minute here To snatch a soul, to soil and smear, To rip it open, front to rear, And hang it on a rope! "Come on, keep breathing, with your mouth, "Exhale, you stupid ass!" - "Oh, yeah? Iíd say if I breathe out, "It might just be my last!" My dry mouth stretched into a grin: "Youíre stopping? Whatís the matter? "You, comrades, have to try again. "I know you can do better!" They killed the light and hit the gas: A board lit up behind the glass, My eyes sprayed mucus from the stress, My throat gargled gently. As he was raging, more and more, I saw a bucket - whatís it for? - Iíve seen these implements before: A Nazi documentary! They gave my ass another shot, Then started to reload. "Keep jabbing, sons of bitches, but "You let me see those notes!" I sank down to the concrete floor. I kneeled, humiliated. I ordered, pleaded, and implored, Demanded and persuaded... The garrote has made another turn. The Bunsen burner was lit to burn. The Cat oí NineTails - I could have sworn - Was next for me that day. They wonít give up till I expire! Still I attempted to inquire: "I know Iím up for a hot wire, "So whatís with the delay?" The orgy heated up. The sweat, Like boiling lava, flowed. A bell rang, and a raven sat Upon the bloodstained coat! And quoth the raven: "Nevermore!" (One foul happy camper!) He leads the way straight to the morgue Out of the torture chamber. To them I was a simple case, But feebly my tail I raised: "Hey, your interrogation ways "Are clearly out of line! "The "good old days" you surely miss. "You will not get away with this! "And my confession, the law insists, "You must give me to sign!" Contorting out of my spine, I tried to snatch the scroll: "This paper I will never sign, "Not till I read it all!" He kept on scribbling in his chair, Then placidly rebutted: "We do not need your signature. "We can proceed without it." My little sister, donít cry! I wonít back off, Iíd rather die! This testimony Iíll deny When I speak to my lawyer! Do not believe the lies they spew! I told them nothing, it is true! To everybody that I knew I stayed forever loyal! He spoke, "Just go ahead and read. "Cool off a bit, you cretin!" I latched onto the scribbled sheet, But it was all in Latin! The fear vanished from my heart. The truth lay undisputed: It was a doctorís chart In an intensive care unit...
© Vadim Astrakhan. Translation, 2013