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A Short History of My Reign: II

An insight into the mayhem

surrounding my descent

can be derived

from a high resolution

photo of my corpse

reconstructed by court craftsmen

who were given the sacred charge

of preserving my image

by their skill, which

then would be

a form of worship.

But death seals everything

including intention.

A close inspection

of their portraits

reveals a form of abuse,

even derision.

The grotesquerie of the image

doesn’t offend me, no.

It’s a kind of tribute,

after all, like

any commissioned art.

But when I try to find

remains of my inner life

I’m not there.

My soul has been

blotted away

like useless punctuation.

Even immortal

I can’t recognize myself,

which was the reason

I did anything.


Stan Sanvel Rubin has published poems in numerous U.S. journals, including Agni, Poetry Northwest, and The Georgia Review, and journals in Canada, Ireland, and China. His work has appears several anthologies, most recently, Moving Images: Poems on Film and Abrazos: Dove Tales 10th Anniversary. Four full-length collections include There. Here. (Lost Horse Press) and Hidden Sequel (Barrow Street Poetry Book Prize). He lives on the north Olympic Peninsula.


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