by Yusef Komunyakaa
Beating wind with a stick.
Riding herd on the human spirit.
It's how a man slips his head into a noose
& watches the easy weight of gods pull down
on his legs. I hope this is just another lie,
just another typo in a newspaper headline.
But I know war criminals
live longer than men lost between railroad tracks
& crossroad blues, with twelve strings
two days out of hock.
I've seen in women's eyes
men who swallow themselves in mirrors.
--memory of Phil Ochs