September 11, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

USN/CC photo



Brenna Marie




I Spy with My Little Eye, Guantanamo



Inside the courtroom at Guantanamo Bay

there are seventy-five colors,

a pigment per prisoner.


Turquoise hijab, talisman of warriors,

charcoal ribbon

for the nine eleven victims,

defense counsel’s curl of mustard hair.


A child welfare attorney once told me,

“Leave your anger at the courthouse door”

yet, it’s strange

to see last year’s War on Terror reduced to a pale, yawning courtroom

plastic water bottles prone on the floor like ghosts.

We thought the whole world was watching but

their eyes have grown weary from tangerine bomb flashes.


Whirring pinwheels of color-


teal Army medal

pink highlighter pens

golden flagpole hunched in the corner.

It becomes very difficult

not to pity the malnourished man

shifting on his watercolor pillow,

sore from rectal-feeding reconstructive surgery,

his colors dim.


We did not see the photos from Abu Ghraib until we turned seventeen.

A government denied Freedom of Information request,

that slim glass panel separating

Them from Us.


I spy, with my little eye, olive green camo print.



there against the wall,

camouflaging a uniform desire to watch them pay.


My message from behind this quickly cracking glass:

Drink in the rainbows of your air-conditioned room!

Revel in swatches of red, white, and blue.

These are the last snatches of color

you will glimpse in your life.

Forget the licorice shade of your children’s eyes,

the bruised violet of a Yemeni sunset, forget the sky.

We have rejected your due process arguments, and now

we reject your claim to a human right of color.


Whirr whirr whirr

The pinwheel spins again.

five lives

three thousand graves

brown skin

black sites



The wailing sirens, that bright orange beard.






Brenna Marie

Brenna Marie is a second-year student at Georgetown University Law Center, where she is the 2L Delegate on the Journal of International Law. In 2015, she graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in History and Peace Studies.

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