Death Machine

Death Machine

Death Machine 1920 1280 Jodie English

From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death.
Justice Harry Blackmun, United States Supreme Court, February 22, 1994.

Maybe no one
can save you –

not even
the girl who wrote
on rose-scented notepaper –

not even a younger you
trout fishing in Gunnison,
your reel’s rakish spin

as the rainbow bolts
for deep water,

not even God
who made the gasping fish,

or me, brother, your last lawyer –
maybe all that’s left

is your father swinging
the lever over and over

trying to hoist the stone
from your chest, your skin

paling in its sleeve of death,
needle poised, curtain open.

Header photograph © S. Schirl Smith.

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