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Thursday, August 22, 2013


by Allyson Whipple

The following is a found poem based on “Last Words of the Condemned” by Celina Fang, Manny Fernandez, Amy Padnani and Ashwin Seshagiri in The New York Times, June 29, 2013.

Photos provided to the Times by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

I wish I could die more than once
            to tell you how sorry I am.
I am the sinner of all sinners.

I deserve this.
            Tell everyone
                        I said goodbye.

Let’s roll. Lord Jesus
            receive my spirit.

I love all those on Death row.
            I will always hold them
                        in my hands.

No one wins tonight.
            They are killing me tonight.
No one gets closure.
            They are murdering me tonight.
No one walks away victorious.

Let’s do it, man.
            Lock and load.
                        Ain’t life a bitch.

Bury me deep, lay two speakers
            at my feet,
put some headphones on my head,
            rock and roll me when I’m dead.

I walked in here
            like a man.
I am leaving
            like a man.

It’s a good day to die.

I can feel it,
taste it,
not bad.

Allyson Whipple is the director of the Austin Feminist Poetry Festival and the author of We're Smaller Than We Think We Are (Finishing Line Press). Her work has most recently appeared in the 2014 Texas Poetry Calendar.