(Author’s Note: Louis Lingg (September 9, 1864 – November 10, 1887), American anarchist born in Germany, was sentenced to death for his involvement in the Haymarket Square bombing in Chicago in 1886. On the day before his scheduled execution, with a dynamite blasting cap that had been smuggled into his cell, Lingg took his own life.)


Who, sentenced to be hanged for crimes
against the State
Of Illinois, did grip a kind
of fulminate

Between his teeth, and strike a match.
Some have achieved
Their prominence by paltry acts
quite unrelieved,

While others have preferred to be
removed from view –
Forgotten, but more brave than me,
more calm than you

Jared Carter's most recent book, Darkened Rooms of Summer: New and Selected Poems, is from the University of Nebraska Press. He lives in Indiana. Read other articles by Jared.