Testimony (Extract)

i.

The first time I drink juice
is at a detention centre.

Thick, sinewy pulp on gums,
bits in teeth, a man winks

at me, you kids love juice
you lucky one!           I am

inside a pause, he waits,
I smile like Aishwarya.

ii.

First day of secondary school—

Anger is off limits here, we participate
in polite discussions only, for example,
every viewpoint is valid, we always
consider pros and cons, and believe
in the position of the devil’s advocate.
This will push you in your thinking,
we don’t brainwash here, but expect
you to make your own mind up, this
is how we have respectable conversations
about controversial topics. Any questions?

iii.

Is talking always supposed to be this tiring?

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