Translated by Saba Vasefi 


The cracked mirror

does not reflect my lost self

I collect pieces

and strive to recall

each fracture

featured in a slaughterhouse 

known as the detention regime.


Flattened by lethal forces 

my unarmed aspirations are shot 

my spirit is sank

my flesh is apprehended 

my identity is shattered.

Violation and isolation stalk me 

from Ethiopia to Australia. 


The sky is my free friend 

smuggling resilience from beyond the fences 

and I, as the only Amharic speaker,

without compatriot to connect heart to heart 

stare at the endless blue. 

Still the detainment lords

intrude my personal space

and instead of my blessing name —Betelhem  

call me Tas016.


The sky is my church 

when as an only Orthodox

I was deprived

a place of worship.


Border Force identifies me 

with different nationality

and my Ethiopian bone and blood 

are fed up from consecutive combats

to prove myself.


Detention regime

is a museum of live burial 

and now 

I only know myself 

as an organ 

of the colonial history body

among the whites, 

who like me,

arrived by boat 

on stolen land.