Martyrdom – for Pussy Riot
Dead as a sparrow, in the gutter’s shit
and blood, where they had left her, with dead eyes
staring like rotting fish. She did not rise
after the twenty-seventh time they hit.
Her brain was broken by the blows
that smashed her face and hands. Tore out her nails.
Torture’s the argument that never fails
though it does not convince. Forced her to prose
oh god please stop, and then she choked on blood
whole minutes. Then she only spoke in verse.
Swans die in song. She went out with a curse.
Her finest lyric. Near her in the mud
her torturer, blood trickling from his ear.
Six perfect lines that it is death to hear