by Best Poem
Thomas Grasso, the Final Supper of
Nicholas Ingram’s head and right leg were shaved to prepare him for the electric chair. He felt like a sheep they were shaving for slaughter. Despite the stay, he was as dead.
“Toward the end I could not sleep at night
if I had not killed one of them that day,
as though I had become addicted to killing.
They were worthless, like cockroaches to me.”
A Burger King double cheeseburger, two cans
of spaghetti with meatballs, half-dozen
barbequed spare ribs, a dozen steamed mussels,
a dozen steamed clams, lemon wedges, two large
strawberry milkshakes and half a pumpkin
pie with whipped cream and strawberries. At 8
PM Grasso will be allowed to take
a shower and be given a clean change
of clothes. At 11:45 he
will take the last steps of his life. IV tubes
will be placed in his antecubital veins.
The warden will ask if he has any last
words which will be piped into a viewing
room where witnesses from the press will be
watching. At 12 AM Monday, on the
warden’s signal, three executioners
in an adjacent room will inject the
lethal chemicals. 10 minutes later
Grasso will be dead. The last supper of ….
Alex Cigale’s poems have recently appeared in Colorado Review, Green Mountains Review, Hanging Loose, and Mcsweeneys, and are forthcoming in Many Mountains Moving, and in three anthologies, The Cento: A Collection (with a foreword by David Lehman,) In the Footsteps of a Shadow: North American Poetic Responses to Fernando Pessoa, and A Stranger at Home; Anthology of American Poetry with an Accent. He was born in Chernovtsy, Ukraine and has lived in New York City since 1975, excluding a six-year stint in Ann Arbor, Michigan where he earned an MFA and won a Hopwood Award. His translations of contemporary Russian poetry have appeared in the anthology Crossing Centuries: The New Generation in Russian Poetry, and in Modern Poetry in Translation, Poetry New York, and Manhattan Poetry Review. A chapbook of “found poems” titled A Chronicle of Calamities, from which “Thomas Grasso” is a selection, is forthcoming from Pudding House.