The Court


1. The Court

My name is Laurie                                                                                                He was gonna get me in

And my friend,                                                                                                        And I would make

The offender                                                                                                            Mates of skittering feet

Charles.                                                                                                                    And

The court where I was to testify as witness                                                    Whiskers long and low.                                               

Steamed upon me a brazen fire

A row of benches                                                                                               With the heat

That seated upon them                                                        A crime punishable by death

                                                                                               I spoke:

Was devils in their most                                                   "I hab' a friend

Infinite                                                                                  Who hab' a friend

Aggression.                                                                          Who know somebody

And had, with mighty force and                                          Who is my friend

Ghastly smiles

Their judge.                                                                           "My friend, he is... he was... he is"

                                                                                                  Sweat dribbling like tap water

He gazed at me                                                                      Rushing

With seedless eyes                                                              To a layered path

With hands like fickle branches                                         Of heaven itself.

Cold winter day

Night cloaked in sharp wit.                                              Except

                                                                                         This isn't heaven

Stand by the defendant                                               And my hands

Or prosecution                                                 Slippy as they are, remain in a discoloring

Whoever he was                                                 Hell.

I already began                                          "My friend, say... he had... I think-no, I know he did..."

To feel                                                          

The needles digging in                                Hush. No voice heard and the crowd

Handcuffing my bones                                  Sit among their

Scuffing along the floor                                  Rolls of fat.

A trail behind me.                                      Munch on air non-existent.

                                                                     A child cries

                                                                       Clings to mama and bats a sitting boy

                                                                   Slaps a girl on the thigh

                                                                   The girl, concentrating

                                                                 Her arm through a sling

                                                                  And I wish to look anywhere, but

                                                                   At the two, above the nose

                                                                   That causes the heart to sink.


                                                                "He said..."

                                                                I can't.

                                                                I can

                                                               My friend, integrity

                                                                Is here.

                                                                Charles is my friend too

                                                                But this is justice.



                                                                   "My friend, Charles Montgomery, hurt a girl

                                                                     Left her to die. and me too, I..."


                                                                 Her arm through a sling

                                                                 A knife through my eye


                                                                 I think I see better.



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