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Jan 152010
 

by Timothy Martin


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.