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Lesser Shadows

Robert Priest
From:   The Visible Man. Toronto: Unfinished Monument Press, 1980.


the buildings wait for the assassins

the shadows are prepared for them—
they flow like dark sheets
of blood from underneath the doors

there are many vacant rooms
many rifles waiting

soon the assassins begin to arrive
they are all a little crazy
moved by politics or dark desires
they are tense and frightened
but eager, jostling one another
for places at the windows

there are assassins behind bushes
assassins on roofs
and distant hilltops
there are so many assassins
there are assassins crouched
in shadows of assassins

it is good that the victim is young
and wealthy. it is good that
he seems to symbolize something

now they prepare their weaponry
his car goes by
the triggers click
a thousand bullets meet
inside a single head
the skull explodes
the president is dead

silently, some with spittle running
from the corners of their mouths,
some dazed, as though awaking from a trance
the assassins file out of the buildings
past the shocked, staring faces to the highways
past the farthest edges of the sun's descending red
and, as night absorbs the lesser shadows
America absorbs her murderers
completely



Robert Priest's works copyright © to the author.


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