State Radio

this morning
i set my ear to the speaker
and found the radio of the state
clogged with the panicked chatter of emperors

'there will be consequences
for what we've done'
they said,
with the sunrise
comes a reckoning

i cannot clean my knives fast enough
they say
my rings will always bear the names
of those that farmed my diamonds
and my spoon is forever stained
with the food that starved a nation

though it seems the hungry are now satisfied
i stole their food
and felled their crop
and cursed their houses with all my gods

but they have found their feet again
a strength i was sure to steal
they carved into my house
the words of a new constitution

is all it read

without caveat or exception
they chant
we reject the wrath of wealthy pirates
our quality we will forge
from the bones of poor fathers
saturated by the desire to give of themselves
and killed by the realization of that want

the innocence night convinces us of
is gone
the convict in our skin
has woke
the babies of those
we hid in the earth
still smell of the soil
and bring their new justice
to our door
unmistakable, its knock and stench

young voices, young hearts
bring to bear the costs of terror
unconsidered, unwritten in the margin of our profit
the text of their existence
is on order from an unnamed power

so rig the vote
and buy the town
write your history in your vulgar tongue
make your sons' mouths bleed as they speak
such wicked words as these

but on the sun's light
the truth will come tattooed on your subjects
in the scars they carry
and the limp that lames their progress

panic you the crowned and exalted
you that bask in the sun
on the bodies of the drowning

arm yourselves
an arsenal
a force only the privelaged can conceive
melt your gold
and gather your gems
squeeze your banks till they give you bombs
and bullets and oil and the lifeblood of your perpetuity

march your fortunes to the end of the earth
at the tip of its blade
are mothers and their daughters
are sons of a dying resistance
and fathers
who curse the principle that protects your brothels
curse the personhood that whores his girls
the belief in the person of Commerce
the sainthood of capitalism

the Church sings glory,
glory hath elected those that govern now
but the churches sing glory,
glory upon the shoulders of the revolution,
upon the shoulder of my brother,
upon the womb of my wife,
whose burden is my own,
and whose future is my hope

their names i carry
they fill my pockets
and stain my hands
and no tomorrow i build today
can be cast down
if in their honor i make these demands

come down you blinded emperors
you folded crows of treasure's carion
come to the river
and see it dwarfed
by the letting of our families
it is a crimson which stains the mind
and the hands of many Pilates before you

and on those banks
before those waves
i'll bring my sins too
and this radio will crackle silent
until we've fished the depths
for that
which makes prophets of men
and lovers of tyrrants
let a stillness fill this place
until we've chained the monster of our wants.

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