Charles-Henri Sanson

HEADLESS

 (Place de la Révolution, 1793)

 

3000 people under him
float on a sea of blood and sin;
of them that went, all are left
ahead.
In his two fists
grappling greasy hair
and plunging neck lines crimson,
this man Sanson
executes the law of the land.
In his red uniform designed
to hide the dripping hand’s
labor
to his King he performed
a final favor.

By raising up the platform there in
Revolution Place,
fat Louis talked and made his
case
face down,
and found his piece,
of gristle bone,
the King no more alone
as his peasants came and
slaked their thirst,
each one clamored
to be the first
to dip
in syrup lips
what regal power
there;
remains of divine god-kings
decay like all Earthly things.

The revolutionaries saw that
and knew:
what a sharp blade can do to Louis,
it can do to them too.

 

 

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