It’s not my fault, he shouted that night
when rain speared the ground like stinging arrows
caged his bony figure with endless streaks
and dragged the guilt from his bloody hands.
I’m not to blame, he said that summer
when the sun was a sticky pool on his dark cap
that shaded the light and hid his eyes
and wrenched a secret pain on his weathered face.
You have no proof, he muttered that day
when the jeering world threw him clasps of metal
to chain about his scarred wrists and feed on
and circle the arrowheads lodged into his soul.
I will show no shame, he wept that night
when he lay poached in a box of darkness
that strangled him with leathery hands
and wrote upon his brow an inerasable damn.