by Michael Mlekoday

               I am in a place where execution can only destroy your physical form. —Troy Davis


Only the snakebite of syringe.

Only the preferred method of execution used by Vietnam, Nazi Germany, and Georgia.

Only, yes, you are only as flammable as a photograph, now.

Only as blood-pumping as black ink.

You are only dementia-dream, now. Sleep like a library

and we will gun down the men standing outside with torches.

One of us: one of them. One of us: one of them.

One day your name will mean mountaintop.

One day we will look back

like the snake devouring itself

and your name will be the fang

and the garden and the guts.