Witness to an execution by guillotine, June 28, 1905
After the blade dropped, and the eyelids twitched,
the spasms tugging at the lips went calm,
and when I called out to the head, “Languille!”
the eyelids lifted up, this time, I swear,
in a distinctly normal movement, slow,
as if awakening, or torn from thought.
With pupils focusing themselves, the eyes
looked sharp, not like a dying man’s, not vague,
and when the lids went shut, I called again,
“Languille!” and again, without a twitch,
they lifted, and the eyes looked into mine.