you can't make me

by john grey
He still remembers his chair in his school,
how he felt strapped in, like any moment
now the teacher would pull the switch,
plunge bolts of electricity through
his helpless body while all the other kids
looked on, witnesses who were sure that
he got what he had coming, without even realizing
that they were next to be offed in a raucous carnival
of steaming ears and twitching muscles.
There was the kitchen chair likewise,.
Sunday dinner just an excuse to send
unwitting family members to their violent death.
And there was the hard-backed, fake antique
his lover offered him, with kisses, hugs,
that disguised the wires. Don’t sit, he
told himself. Not on sofas, not in buses,
not on rockers when you’re eighty years of age.
Look who survives. Look who’s standing.

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