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0-530. Lights on.

They know they’re being watched.
Panopticon. The desert sees.

Eyes down, I’m not staring at you.
Eyes up, I see you.

0-800 hours. Head count.

“What do I like about my work?” the officer repeats our question.
“I have a job. I get paid.”

I hear a man murmur to his neighbor as our lines pass.
Our line is notebooks, pens, tennis shoes, t-shirts.
Their line is loose-fitting lime green, dark hair, eyeing us.

Look up?
Look down?

The man is mocking us. “These here are called prisoners,” he whispers to a neighbor, taking on the role of our guide.

They know they’re being watched.
They’re watching us.

13-hundred hours, meal call.

“I was pretty much American stupid before I got this job,” the officer says. “Now the amount of countries I know – you hear a new one, you think, like, that’s a real country?”

The line moves past us.

Were my eyes on the ground out of shame or respect?
Was I catching their eyes to say I see you, or was their curiosity mirrored in mine?

A man runs in. He’s been summoned by a friend. See the visitors, they seem to say.
We hold our notebooks tight. Our wrists are tight. Our eyes are…

Look up?
Look down?

Panopticon. The desert watches.

They just want to tell their story, they say.

It takes a lot to leave your home.

They know they’re being watched.

Our lines pass, our lives pass.

22-hundred hours. Head count.

Do we see them?

Lights out.

Do they see us?



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