Working downward…first the throne room
overturned, then the queen hung by association
via her wardrobe dangled from open windows…
the crowd at last arrives. Forty thousand
bottles, some with tenderer cradles than
the infants in the district. The coup leaders
do not wish to deny the people, oh no.
Rather, to save the people from themselves.
They post guards, who get drunk on the job.
More guards, who pass bottles over
their prone comrades to the crowd. The leaders
wall up the rooms. Someone bores holes,
which felicitously decork several bottles.
Mouths volunteer at the holes, curious
to know what vinegar does not taste like.
The leaders dismantle the walls, smash
the bottles as souvenirs of a distasteful time.
The liquid flows to the streets, overstrains
the gutters. Soon the horses refuse to pull
the haywains. More than one citizen dips
his bucket, miles from a useful well.
As quietly as a nurse enters a sickroom,
the leaders settle machine guns on the rooftops.