Death Row, Cell 36

Capital punishment:
them without the capital get the punishment.”
Executed in electric chair, Florida.
– John Spenkelink, d. May 25, 1979

(A death convict’s last thoughts
before the execution)

within this choking confine
i hear the mocking chime
of clock marking time.

beyond this four-cornered concrete cracking,
locks clanking like blades of grass gnashing,
like swords clashing, like glass crashing.

these iron bars:
brothers to my scars
and tattoos myriad as stars –

gaping teeth of devil’s mold grinning;
round bars, cold to hold,
frigid and rigid,

in me, a mocky reproach seeping,
even as I see a cocky cockroach creeping,
from my cracked couch, peeping.

i see
the shifting shades of Life fading;

i hear
the lulling voice of Death…

… calling.

– between liberty and death is verdict.

© 2005 Chito L. Aguilar

Iron Bars: Brothers to my scars and tattoos myriad as stars.

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