the death of marat (1793)

With the stroke of a brush
the artist makes the fallen hero beautiful
smoothing the ravages of illness
that marred his skin;
a reposing pietà, sublime in his baptismal font,
asleep, but for
the tell-tale violence of his death:
the bathwater stained red
by the hear that bled for France,
his fallen hand still holding the pen
that named himself l’ami du pueple,
a revolutionary
patron saint of the Cult of Reason
who enflamed a reign of terror,
who sought the execution of a king,
and signed the orders for the deaths of countless more,
now limp and beautiful in the golden morning light.

With a stroke of the brush,
history remembers the martyr, the hero, the saint
and not
the dermatitic demagogue
who died alone in his bathtub.

By Felicity

art, fiction, poems, reading, flights of fancy

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