Benjamin Niespodziany


              gave my friend Larry
              the chair.
              He was innocent.
              He was kind.
              Couldn’t they see that?
              Society fought back
              by writing quiet poems
              tucked under
              summer desks.
              I arrived to watch
              him through the thick glass
              that had been there
              since before we were
              young enough to die.
              His eyes were calm marbles.
              Scissors plastic and dull.
              My God, what a year it had been.
              The executioner
              was only a kid.

Benjamin Niespodziany is a Chicago-based writer whose work has appeared in Fence, Booth, Salt Hill, Peach Mag, & elsewhere. His debut collection of poetry (with blurbs by Lemony Snicket & CAConrad) was released last November through Okay Donkey Press, & his forthcoming novella will be out with X-R-A-Y later this year.