May Day

The goal of the revolution is the abolition of fear. —Adorno

In every uprising there's an instant
when street corners look like movie sets and
the protesters feel self-conscious, like
extras in Ben-Hur. Just now

beyond the barricades, some invisible gesture
has frozen everyone in place—
blue-jacketed workers, defiant students,
the police massed behind their lexite shields.

We could have spent the afternoon like good bourgeois,
lounging on the balcony
drinking Earl Grey, listening to Faure,
but something cramped inside us