them without the capital get the punishment.”
Executed in electric chair, Florida.
– John Spenkelink, d. May 25, 1979
DEATH ROW, CELL 36
(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.
the shifting shades of Life fading;
the lulling voice of Death…
– between liberty and death is verdict.
© 2005 Chito L. Aguilar