Final Defiance

The last known words
of my friend
the scholar and anarchist
were calmly spoken:
“I am going to mail some letters,
and take a walk.”

He had lightened his step
for the mysterious journey
by selling his books
the previous weekend.

The last leg
was to scale
the brown wire-mesh fence
designed to prevent
jumping
off the bridge
into the ravine below.

One last f-f-fuck you
to the authorities
who imagined this
and every other
ugly thing.

— Marcus Rediker
In memory of Steve Sapolsky
August 16, 2001