stiff
by Susan Stiles


onward tiberius, gather
your unseasoned native son.
the winter gales on the far side of
exile have flooded the southern plains
with disrepute. obedient passengers, like
the petrified refugees of herculaneum, herd
together to endure the storm. a martyr's parade,
flimsy, and hope for a payoff at the end is limited
to those who can withstand an uprising. they
furrow the roads with burnt weapons, wire
crosses and the like. yet even these can
hardly know . . . that cemeteries have
no conscience at all. those who'll
die in armed struggle, and
those who'll simply die,
will all rest, beside.






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