As he washes his hands
Clean of any guilt.
Daring, only, for he holds the hilt.
The crows stand damning across the moor,
Where the bones glower at the rich
And smile at the poor.
To the wall, a man denied of sight
Sheathes his tongue—thankful
And without mourning
For the by-blows of gunshots and bloodlust.
Close your mouths, the strongman says,
As he suckles the ground, breastful, with the sweat
Of the toils of truth-making and of the unflinching face
Drawn, unbridled, over thumb-sized threats.
Flow your blood, the strongman says,
As he leaves his marks page-by-page.
Today's an empty stomach, a wrinkled brain;
And it shall hunger for the turning of the leaves--
The body bags speak of the ways to begin.