Wikipedia Poem, No. 231

“The court said it felt ‘deep regret’ at Mr. Marhanka’s death.” New York Times, 17 June 2016


teacher the court asks
a serpent lost his neck
the newspaper replies

four years the inmate asks
a newspaper replies four years
the inmate invents impulse

remember this birth in changhua
the court says no you have
no wife impossible he says

but his throat was his door
with a prison conviction
over the serpent’s tongue

marijuana in his throat
the interpreter’s hiss witness
language anything possible


Source: Ramzy, Austin. “American Kills Himself in Taiwan Court After 4-Year Drug Sentence.” New York Times 17 June 2016. Web. 17 June 2016.

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