Now I have someone else’s life flashing before me,
the jewels, the errors, the dregs of someone’s life,
and I am being asked to arbit,
as if there is anything less arbitrary
than sentencing someone to a week
in prison, or a year, a few months
or death by injection.
In the months before dying they will pace
the walls of their own lives, not thinking
about death, thinking about the moment
when they will sit in a chair, and a man
in white will push a cold syringe
up their arm, and they will only think
about the syringe, and how cold it is.
In the pew I will go home to my fish
and let my front door bang,
having passed my idle judgments
off my idle hands.
Will someone else say innocent? I won’t say innocent,
I will go home to two kids. And the
man lifts a heavy eye to my eye,
the pupil, the whites full to the bone,
fuller than mine have ever been
in the years I have fed fishes.
Published spring 2019 by Thirty West Publishing House.