A Painless Way to See Ourselves

This man, if man he was
a devil

we were insulted
when he finished

his painting
of evil deeds, attributed.

Corpses piled like firewood
bodies hacked to bits
burned to cinders
their dead mouths in open rebuke

His certain voice explained

it was only a puzzle.

Oh, how we hated him

We surged and gnashed
fists balled, blood up
massing against one another
and somebody yelled get a rope.

So we lined up in the streets
pedestrians with teeth bared,
each of us holding something.

photographs of missing children,
telegrams brought by the priest,
scorched dog tags,

knives, cudgels, guns we knew
as murder weapons,
jars of kerosene

Somebody (was it I)
demanded his head

somebody must pay by law
somebody’s neck  must stretch,
somebody’s body must burn.

We called for a river of blood,
yearned to pull clothing to rags
tear flesh from flesh
shatter bones

scream ourselves hoarse.


In response to the Daily Post: Pedestrian


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