Eye for an Eye
Sheldon Art Museum, Lincoln, Nebraska
The sculpture of a head on the stairs
creeps out the Martians. They can’t tell
its gender. One whispers, The slashes
at crown and throat suggest maleness.
The furrowed brow, the x-ed out eyes,
the lack of body makes them worry.
They ask, What crime is punishable by head-loss?
Where’s the axe? The hooded man in black?
They’re sure the body will reveal something—
wrists bound by rope or a tongue sliced out
to be set aside and buried elsewhere.
One knocks on the head. The art peals—
an empty hollow sound, a void of dead air.
Maybe, one Martian says, it was bad thoughts.