The sell-out, his face twisted with scars, risked his life to tell me of you.
He said, when he saw you last, my son, you had no fingernails. He said they'd taken them from you with pliers, one each day, except on the Sabbath.
He said when you slept beside him in the prison cell you shared, you yelped and convulsed.
He said your left arm was broken, snapped backwards at the elbow.
He said he could not tell me of your face.
I asked him how he knew, how he'd escaped. He shrugged. They'd let him go. He didn't know why.
"Sell-out," I hissed. He met the accusation with silence.
I asked about your eyes, your beautiful eyes, your father's eyes.
His shoulder slumped, defeated. He had risked his life to find me and tell me all he could, and he could not tell me this. Instead, he wept.
"Tell me," I screamed.
I had searched and waited years for news of you. But now the sell-out came with news, I was offended at his presence. Why was he here? Why not you?
I slapped him, and he took it. He stood and let me slap him and scream in his face how worthless he was to have given in while you, my son, held silence, while you remained broken and strong.
I slapped him with all the energy of my pain and worry, pent up with years of not knowing. I slapped him because I cannot hold your splintered body. I slapped him and punched him until I collapsed, sobbing.
With each slap I struck across his scarred cheeks I betrayed you. With each slap, I wanted him to explain. Why did you, my son, believe so fiercely? Where did you find such faith? Why couldn't you have sold-out too?