Dry run: A poem for fans of the Rolling Stones – Sarah, Camille, Lala, Kat, Pot, Choi, Michael & Omeng

I
It was, of course, bedlam. The kids
couldn’t be comforted with words smelling of blood:
After all, they could handle the truth.
They knew the brutality of aging hands.
So the irrepressible pursued the logic
to the bitter end: Why the cover-up?
Why exonerate the butchers in the field?
How explain the grief for the missing?
& so forth. & so on.
They couldn’t be dazzled by One
whose power was stolen from them
who failed to observe proper decorum.
& so unable to sway the unbelievers
who saw through the emperor’s clothes,
he could only smile the smile of a cavalier
smarting from the slings & arrows
of public misfortune.
A hot synergy of eggs & mud pies in cool September.
(Suddenly, I remember the Trial at Nuremberg)

II
It was necessary to speak. She knew
it was a gamble. All eyes were on the kid.
The phalanx of bodyguards around his
sacral body was eyeing her
as though she was about to pull a gun:
To grill him about the state of things
& how his logic would square with hers.
Of course, she wouldn’t brook any evasion,
she wanted to cut through the jive
like she would through a block of ice,
clean & clear
none of the clutter of loose dialectical chips.
When she stood up, the room sweltered
in ground-zero heat: The powerful One
squirming in his seat, she advancing
with her pawns.
Checkmate seemed inevitable
like the drowning of the moon.
No one could save him
from the rapier cut
of her who trained for daily combat.
He could only stare like a bloodhound.
This time he was not in a zone.
How he wished he were in his camp
just barking orders no footmen could deny.
He wouldn’t be further disenfranchised.

III
Yes, it’s always a wager.
From now on she must look over her shoulders:
A word, a nod, a sigh
Somebody exits in the pith of the night.
He always smiles: We’ll see, we’ll see
If God & history are on her side
I, because I am, will decide
who’ll fall & who’ll rise
(She is not one, she is many.
She will not be circumscribed.)

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