Ingram was the spit of me:
he did not burn alone.
His deaths became, by each degree,
themselves a kind of elegy
for murders, which, by state decree
invest in flesh and bone.
Bullet in the neck or chest,
the rope which gives a twist,
the sword, the cord, the acid test,
the lethal hypodermics pressed,
the hail of stones (go East, go West)
are held in Ingram's fist.
Spitting images are found
wherever skull-caps fit.
For those whose arms are slowly bound,
for those whose heads are coiled and crowned,
for those whose cries are underground,
for those whose ashes make no mound,
for those who turn their words around,
for those whose nerves are not unwound,
for them, this substitute for sound
is epitaph. Dead spit.