Silences/XV

How mark innocence in the time of criminals?
Truly, a devil’s equation:
The meanstreet kid who once upon a time
aimed his toy gun at brats & crones
is now the tough guy who burns, like his cigar,
in the palace’s wide, wide anteroom
yet he appears, by formal logic, innocent
because the Law is a holy wordgame, linear vow;
he with polished stars & epaulets
who secures the draft to contain insurgents
is, by common logic, innocent
because wise men in long, black robes
had long ago decreed to cut off the hinterland
For the meaning of meanings
the rose of the rose of the rose
lies outside the bark of dogs, shriek of lovers
at midnight;
It prowls, dearie, like a fat cat inside
soft-toned, air-conditioned suites
where Debussy plays for presidents & chairmen
who had long ago phoned to colonies beyond
of a brave, white world
excised of hotheads, native paradigms.

How define crime in the time of criminals?

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