Journal of Dr. Beaurieux by Brooks Haxton

Witness to an execution by guillotine, June 28, 1905

After the blade dropped, and the eyelids twitched,
the spasms tugging at the lips went calm,
and when I called out to the head, “Languille!”
the eyelids lifted up, this time, I swear,
in a distinctly normal movement, slow,
as if awakening, or torn from thought.
With pupils focusing themselves, the eyes
looked sharp, not like a dying man’s, not vague,
and when the lids went shut, I called again,
“Languille!” and again, without a twitch,
they lifted, and the eyes looked into mine.

From: Haxton, Brooks, “Journal of Dr. Beaurieux” in VQR, Spring 2015, Volume 91, No. 2.
(http://www.vqronline.org/poetry/2015/04/journal-dr-beaurieux

Date: 2015

By: Brooks Haxton (1950- )

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