The Inquisitor's Interrogation, poem by Duane Locke

      During the interrogation,
      I was asked no questions.
      I said nothing, observed a man in gray suit,
      Even his face was painted gray,
      His eyelids a dark blue.
      He was dancing a galliard
      In the shadows of a statue
      Of Galileo. I said nothing,
      But my long answers
      To the unasked questions
      Were being recorded by a blonde secretary,
      Her legs
      Looked like a pale sunset
      That had been speared by fancy dress ball.
      Her toes
      Had been anointed
      By oil from an extreme unction.

      I read my testimony,
      Although I had not given any testimony.
      The testimony stated
      That I stood on a soapbox in Hyde Park
      Gave speeches
      That artists painted masks
      On the ashes of those burned at the stake.
      I had never been in Hyde Park.
      I was a poet, not a painter.

      The room changed into a circus.
      I was sitting on the bleacher’s back row.
      On the top of the circus tent
      A girl glittered with sequins,
      Walked upside down.
      Her long blonde hair
      Fell from her head, quivered.
      On her wedding ring finger the diamonds
      Of her engagement ring added to the glittering.
      It was the engagement ring I gave her.
      I was supposed to marry in two days.
      It was then I began to understand
      Where I had been for the last few hours.

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Thomas McConnell