by Frederick Pollack

In places with traditional
respect for education, torturers
like to be called “professor,”
but usually prefer “doctor.”
In poor places with tight schedules,
they are sometimes forced to bunk down
in the same rooms as their clients.
They commandeer schools, hotels,
apartment buildings, monasteries,
even yachts, to demonstrate
the priority of, the unadmitted
need society has for,
their craft. When a reigning power
farms work out to them
in secret flights at dead of night, they feel
excitement at being included
in a global enterprise, but also
the resentment, even cynicism, known
to any subcontractor. Torturers
think much upon God, and invoke
His name at all hours. They are famously
kind to their wives and dote upon
their children. They could speak
with surprising sophistication about
the uncertainty of all knowledge,
the pretextuality of every
text. Despite the distorted
image of them held
by people who depend on them, they are often
sensitive men – intensely sensitive
to pain. And to that nameless
yearning, suppressed
by the demands of maturity and order
in the depths of every soul;
relating which would resemble
an undeliverable
letter addressed “To Whom It May Concern.”

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