May 1, 2015

Hiromi Yoshida: Three Poems, "Last Supper in Terre Haute"

Hiromi Yoshida is a winner of multiple Indiana University Writers' Conference awards. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Clockwise Cat, Work Literary Magazine, The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society, Borderline, Evergreen Review, Bathtub Gin, Flying Island, and the Matrix anthologies of literary and visual arts.

Last Supper in Terre Haute

The sky was a leaden slab oppressing the horizontal land beneath it;
nimbus clouds the color of jail suit orange collided & coalesced

like dirty cotton candy rolling into the unkempt backyards of Bloomington IN the morning Timothy McVeigh was scheduled to die in Terre Haute.

Iconically speaking, he was a lethal injection in the promethean
heartland of America, wielding a poisonous pen that resurrected “Invictus” in the cold refrigerator dawn, eliciting an extreme aversion for chocolate mint ice cream,

the last supper doled out on the long spoon of public concession—spanning the distance    
between himself & the collateral damage at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building
in Oklahoma City.

After the execution, he morphed into a dirty animus incubus coalescing viscously
like toxic orange storm clouds—the diarrheic Indiana skies

vomiting pints of chocolate mint ice cream laced with sodium pentothal, pancuronium bromide & potassium chloride—circulating intravenously throughout the sepia colored

landscapes of the United States of America.

Spring Morning in Bloomington, Indiana

Rumble of thunder culminating violently;
chirp of birds rustling restlessly—unlikely orchestra of
synchronous sound—as though the birds were protesting
some (vaguely felt) oppressive omnipresence—the storm
and its singular vehemence devouring the tail end of

a day becoming itself endlessly—
a winged serpent chirping


When he stepped across the
dilapidated threshold—ruptured
the screened window, did he
see the scrawny girl in the woman
disheveled with sleep? No, instead
he blindfolded the stars & taped the
mouths of the flowers shut. She

watched him unfasten his pants.
“Why is there so much grief
in you?” he asked. Will he
spend 7 years on good behavior
masturbating with the memory of how he raped her
with the fantasy of consensus—pulling arms
& chairs into askew positions
of compromise? After all, he

dug himself a cinderblock
hole & buried the deed with a
burglary conviction
quite euphemistically.

It suddenly occurred to her that
“Rape is redemption for woman,”
as she read Sylvia Plath’s Unabridged Journals
among the wild lilies at the Cox Arboretum
in July 2001, and how Sylvia longed to be raped
by the sun [that killed Icarus].  This was all

before the done fact
when she accessed the information
that rape was a 1:4 statistic
of namelessly shamed women in the United
States of America. After the fall

into logistical knowledge,
she understands that
the Monroe County Prosecutor
can neither touch nor mend the bruised
mouths & sunken breasts of these
statistical women going the hard way
of nunnery stones, begging us to read
between the squiggly lines
of sex offender registries. So the rapist

gave Judge W. his S.O.B. story—asked
his mother for his watch & tennis shoes,
begging for trial continuance in his
orange jumpsuit & shackled feet. (After all,
he made it difficult for her to masturbate
properly in the summer dark again). So she

compulsively uses the Odyssey
Case Management System to search for updated
offender information, catatonic architectures of consensus
coalesce & dissolve reminding her that justice was

truncated in the evacuated
courtrooms of Bloomington IN.

--22 March 2015

~Hiromi Yoshida

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