The Night Before the Sentence is Carried Out

a woman is riding a bus

with a sack of black apples in her lap.

The bus stalls on the dam.

She pulls a knife out of the sack, throws it

in the water with the blade half open

like the eyes of a lawyer

who has been drinking heavy

for a month, more than a month.

He passes out in his boat.

When he comes to, the lake is another man’s

suit, in the billfold

photo of another man’s wife.

The woman waits for everyone to get off

before she does.

She reaches up to put the pins in her hair.

The condemned man is rubbing his arms

thinking about someone

he used to be married to.

He reaches under the cot, touches the cold wire.

She stands up brushing her clothes,

the bottom balls out of the sack.

She leaves the apples scattered in the aisle.


Darren Angle