After the Plea
As the marshal orders him against the wall,
cuts the new laces from his shoes,
he's near-choking over his rage at wrongs,
and would speak, except everyone's watching,
perhaps with rawer deals. He's done.
No going back - to any moment of choice,
to the mouth of the alley, or further,
to that which was chosen for
him, marked by a growth-stretched scar
on his right brow, the tremor in his speech,
the slightness of his anger. Again,
he's stood waiting for the sentence,
for a last minute mercy, built on the hope
that these powers know, actually know
him. And could do no better themselves.
Again, he's gotten exactly what he's asked for
though myself - his mouth, who will soon pass
ephemeral as agency through these doors
into the warm sunlight of a gorgeous afternoon.
I know how it works, he snaps, and softens
because, after all, he's gotten
exactly what he asked for,
what he, fists clenched, had been made
to so-want an hour ago. Oh, may you not
be blinded, bent or broken by these
least of your victories.