String Quartet No. 1
by michael helsem

in the absence of justice
in the absence of victory
i will wait till my enemy dies
of natural causes
after a cruel life prolonged by all the perks
of high power & plunder
then placed in the fertile soil
like a seed of nightmares for a thousand years
& i will go there
in the dead of night & dig
& i will fetch me that skull
to drink from
i will boil it 2 days & nights in lye
then leave it to dry in the sun
on a stick
in my backyard
i will paint it with gold leaf paint
& dust it
with red glitter
then a coat of workable fixative
maybe write on it with a sharpie
runes, or "Happy Hunting, Dick!"
i won't need a handle
i'll fill it to the brim
with something strong & bitter & black
i'll stare at it
& i will smile
in the absence of victory
in the absence
forever & ever
of justice

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