Sunday, January 22, 2012

Masin Persina


Despite the protest of the better class,
the hanging was public. Crowds came early
by private conveyance. Vendors
had secured concessions for feeding
the throngs with sandwiches, coffee,
peanuts and lemonade. It was more like
a gala picnic than the dispatching
of a soul to eternity. He walked
toward doom with a steady step
while the press asked him, at some length,
of his stay amongst us.
“Did our hospitality fatigue you?”
“Is there anything that impresses you
above all else?”  “Have you formed
an impression of the size of our navy?”
“Are you likely to retard at the chop
off the mouth of life, or will you return?”
It was difficult to say if he was deeply touched
or could not find the right words.
Nonetheless, he was the only man present
who had enough sense to keep silent.
The police finally dispersed the crowds
and the handlers of baggage, who wantonly destroy,
continued to do so at the train station.

Originally from Washington DC, Masin Persina lives and teaches in Oakland, CA.  His poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in elimae; Everyday Genius; Forklift, Ohio; Leveler, Sixth Finch, Sycamore Review and elsewhere.