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Most striking was not

the confederate flag parading halls

unbreached by force since 1812

the unironic scaling of walls

by border wall fanciers

to invade the people’s palace

the smashing of windows

placing of feet on desks

and gawky gawping like

terrorist tourists

through the statuary hall

or the defense

of our democracy

by pushed furniture

and drawn guns.

Most striking was the quiet

after the curfew fell

as the mob milled around

outside the Capitol

while the halls were swept

for the last horn-headed hoodlum

and riot shields

pushed down the mall

the quiet of shame

the quiet of doubt

the quiet of failure

the quiet of a force

only there for violence

and unsure at its end

of their purpose.

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