Socrates cuts the jury apart
with his plain truths, and unadorned
though he succeeds only in angering them. Ashamed, and bitter at his corrective nature
they answer his crystalline logic with a martyr's death.

(The Oracle hedges his bets with
loose language, even as Socrates
strove to prove him wrong:
with the wise men, that crossed meanings;
with the poets, whose gods were but pretty turns of phrase;
with the artists, who nurtured images far too vibrant and sure to leave room for petty philosophy.)

He spades his own grave
even as he unravels
the lies constructing his death.

That ignorant lawyer Meletus
falls into each trap, his contradictory arguments
proof enough of innocence—
yet Socrates still dies.

(He cared only for the refinery of his soul
and, at the end of the day,
perhaps a free lunch for his efforts.)

He says, "This has happened before."
Says, "This will surely happen again."
And leaves the stage.