In the confusion
of the thunderstorm
they broke out, sliced
their hands to ribbons
on the razor wire
because they had to,
made it to the river
and then swam, drifted,
clung to their insurgency.

In the rapids it all
fell apart. Days later
the survivor read
in a newspaper
about the capture,
the drowning, and
the presumed drowning
in the flood waters.

Twenty years later,
in that foreign country 
of another identity,
his students ask him why
he writes poems of prison.
He looks down at the scars
on his hands and cannot tell them
it is all he knows.