paper protest

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for once,
could the clamour
of the coughing criminals
not be placed beside
the coffins of the courteous?
or if needs must be,
let it be a reckoned reminder
of what they might have been?
is there a space in hell
reserved for those
who walked into wildernesses
where they were not welcome,
where they stole
and staggered
the offspring
of an organism that lived before –
could we weaken the walls,
crush the courtiers,
salvage their spoils
and celebrate civilisation,
where the prefix has purpose
and precedence,
where to be civil
is second-nature,
and not a matter
of nation or niceties?

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