Kimiko Hahn

In the Spirit of a Sestina


where she was drugged. She said she woke up naked


As in many brothels, the torture of choice was electric shocks


The jolt causes intense pain, sometimes evacuation of the bladder and bowel – and even unconsciousness. Shocks


After the beatings and shocks,

Sina said she would be locked naked

in a wooden coffin

full of biting ants.

The coffin

was dark, suffocating and so tight that she could not move her hands up to her face to brush off the ants.

Her tears washed the ants

out of her eyes. She was locked in the coffin


as 14-year-old girls are being jolted with electric shocks –


NOTE: “The Evil Behind the Smiles,” Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times, 1 Jan. 2009.



From the Clipping Morgue

a monostich sequence


like a barn coming out of the faucet



Asia (partly because they stitch girls up and resell them as virgins several times over),




blinded her and burned away her eyelids and most of her face, leaving just bone




as smoke rose from her burning flesh and she ran about blindly, crashing into walls



flooded with thousands of pickles, vast flows of discarded chicken heads



a blanket of black plastic balls that blocked the sun



8 and 12, move through their house like newly hatched birds, barely able to stand



NOTE: all quotes are from The New York Times.

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