Pulling the trigger’s the easy part, because

you never know if it’s actually you

or one of the other Brimob officers

who’s firing live rounds. It might be

that I’ve never fired a fatal shot!


We work in a team, five of us to fetch

the prisoner from his isolation cell.

They don’t protest much, though –

they’ve been on death row long enough.

It takes place in the middle of the night.

If it were light enough, maybe you’d see

more than the whites of their eyes.

They can choose to cover their face

before we tie them up.


That’s the worst bit; touching

men who are about to die,

lacing their hands and feet and limbs

to the cross, using thick rope. God has decreed

whether or not they sin. I say to them:

I’m sorry, just doing my job.


It’s extra cash, you see – we’re police officers by day.

We get $100 a time for this, by way of bonus, earn it

for those few moments of brutal intimacy –

the sweaty palms and rapid breathing. We escort them

to a clearing in the jungle.


In the darkness, a torch is shone

onto a target drawn over their hearts.

You could cover it with the palm of your hand.


In my nightmares I am dazzled

by that beam, but stare into it

for as long as I can because when it drops

below my gaze, I know my brothers are taking aim.


Note: Brimob – term given to teams of executioners appointed to carry out the death penalty on drugs-related convicts on the prison island of Nusa Kambangan, Indonesia (Guardian, 7 March 2015)

Copyright © 2015. Hannah Stone

Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved.

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