Be-hold, Be-head

Be-jeweled weapon of execution.

Be-spoke s|word you’ll choose.
Which, scythe, w|ill
S|ever cords of cords —
Great trunk-splitter, God-
Be-sotted, s|harp-edged,
H|and-held guillotine.
Now coup de g|race.

A|head — Be-hold!
Haunted. Hunted.
Halal m|eat.
Dear P|earls before s|wine.
Butchery’s holy t|error.

Be-hold! Be-headed!
Hostage to broadcast media
Streaming, I couldn’t look a|way.
My accomplice e|yes rolled in my head.
Cut to, clear through,
Be-lovèds fell, be-reaped.

Then I, too, died —
Be-headed, in a patriot d|ream.
Caput mortuum.
Reamed in skull-duggery’s war-theatre.
I was stumped;
Blood be-dezined, a streamer.

But I n|ever suffered, saved by
The i|mage’s undreamt-of
Kindness. Which, inshallah, s|pared me,
S|till —
My soul f|led from my body,
Initiate — A sign to other headless
Horsemen of t|his apocalypse.

Uncapped caryatid,

Oracle, I finger war criminals,
While the martyred be-lie our state.
And in that state (Department of —) they lie.

S|hades, fouled and fooled,
The dead’s incensed consciousness floats,
Survivor-savor seeking mercy.
Dead-headed, b|looming, be-nighted,
They’d be-wreath peace.
N|one’s found. Yet

Be-hold, they stand at y|our door —
Angel-torsoed. Be-wingèd.
Tourniquetted. Torches.
Lady Liberties. Lazaruses,
Heads-in-hand — and knock.

Be-hold! Y|our political capital!
Y|our state banquet! Y|our ritual s|laughter!

For they’ve come back,
Body-baggèd-sattvas.
Suras, surely. Soldiers—
Not enemies | anemones.

                      [in Tidal Basin Review, Summer 2010]

 

Share