Two Secretaries Of State Require Heart Surgery

The esthetics are delicate.
Even Rembrandt failed to resolve them;
his painting 'The Flayed Steer' reeks of death.
When they opened the breast of the man of state,
he lay there like a flayed steer.
You could imagine him all but hung on hooks.
In Chile they flayed, hung men and women on hooks.
The esthetics are delicate. Shed blood stinks, hooks
displaying human meat
stand outside all known schools of art.

No man of state has seen his own heart.
We infer the organ, though steely eyes and merciless words
weaken the argument.
They opened the breast of the man of state.
Alarmingly his blood ran, like any steer's.
Blood, more blood! the medicos cried.
Lucky man, there were bottles of blood, jugs of blood
casks of blood, O there were torrents of blood,
the seven seas ensanguined, a high tide whelmed the room!

The children of Chile entered like acolytes all in white,
the ghostly children, each with a golden bowl,
like quattrocento angels they cried sweetly in chorus;
Sir, take our blood! it is given for you!
Next women and men, hung like red scarves on hooks,
descended cloudlike

(for whose death the man of state, lying rent and lax,
could scarce be held accountable, so wan he lies)
Sir, take our blood! cry the white robed martyrs
each holding in hand a golden bowl.
Drink to our friendship!

Happy outcome! The man of state sits up
he assumes once more the orb and sceptre.
The ghosts recede.
The murdered children follow the moon into a dark grove.
The white robed women and men ascend in mid air,
they kiss with bloodless lips the instruments of life.

II.
The man of state reclines in state.
Today he claims another kingdom,
the kingdom of death.

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