Statement in the Form of a Haibun

They call it a hearing instead of a suspension or sentencing. 
Every institution maintains they've followed procedure—
professionally, dispassionately. Abided by the code or the book,
whose provisions are conveniently undergoing revision.
They dispense with the need for a transcript or recording,
and tell you to rely instead on the undependability of hand-
scribbled notes. You may bring a witness at the last minute, 
one who is not allowed to speak or otherwise make 
his presence known. They're counting on you to not  
anticipate where the blow has come from; to not have
the presence of mind nor patience to comb
through hundreds of pages of rules for loopholes. 
It might astound them that someone like you, far 
from the top of the known pecking order, decides
to open her mouth to read a statement, moving 
confidently from one point to the next. In the un-
seen gallery the ancestors sit, minding their 
behavior. They include the grandfather who was
a magistrate in his prime, and once threw out
a counselor for noisily snapping gum; and the great-
grandmother, who ate of the fruit of the magical 
kingdom before allowing herself to be led away. 
The spirits have agreed it would be unwise to get
kicked out now, just for the feeble pleasure of booing 
or heckling the proceedings. They throw their voices 
like darts into your throat, so your words expand 
in timbre but keep an even and ongoing pitch. 

Whatever you lose, it won't be
a galaxy. Even dead stars burn
brilliant beams in the dark.






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