They Like Their Killing Clean

Execution bumbled,
botched, new drugs
administered to
murder the murderer

proved stubborn to
the task: the doomed
shook, moaned, gurgled
his way to death, his

excruciating exit
upsetting witnesses
and leaders who wished
court ordained death

to be discreet, quick,
dignified, even painless.
To show mercy,
sophistication; after

all, we’re civilized here
at the edge of oblivion.
Even the top dog who
loves death by remote

control seemed a bit
bothered by the fuss,
ordering a review
of state snuff procedures

to avoid a repeat of
the unfortunate event,
to make sure executions
are, in the future,

professional, orderly
and, above all, peaceful,
for we are a nation that
cherishes peace, are we not?

Paul Lojeski's poetry has appeared in journals and online. He’s also the author of the satiric novel, The Reverend Jimmy Pup. He lives with his wife and daughter in Port Jefferson, NY. Read other articles by Paul.