August 6

Slept late

Had some good dreams

Five star

Or maybe four

I don’t know

I didn’t sleep too good.

Then I pulled back the bedclothes

Threw on my bathrobe

and clambered

In bare feet

To the bathroom.


So I got undressed

And exposed myself to the morning.


I urinated.



The shower was good ’n hot

And I took too long


I leaned against the grimy wet tiles

Head down.

The water streamed down my face.

It got in my eyes.


When I was done,

I got out

And broke the shower door

Maybe I’m clumsy

But I don’t think so.



I toweled myself dry

Still fighting to keep awake

I hung up my damp towel

As neatly as possible

I don’t know why . . .

And pulled my bathrobe back on.


I went back to my room

The floor was metal cold

And I got dressed.


It didn’t take too long.

I put on yesterday’s underwear

And yesterday’s socks

And shirt and such.

Why? ’Cause it didn’t matter.


Then I went and had some breakfast

Bacon and eggs and toast ’n jam.

And then I threw up.


Next thing I knew it was time to go

So they took me to the courtyard

And shot me.


From The Stuttering Priest, 1984. See also the slightly different version that appears in Ninety-Seven Poems, also 1984.