Edmund August

James Earl

Every morning the cell doors opened
he’d step straight out,
first to emerge, stop, look left,
mouth half open, then look right,
like watching for a city bus,
unsure which way it would come,
half afraid it would run him down,
perhaps more afraid it would take him
away from all this, the respect
that came with killing someone
very loved, very hated, the pleasure
of seeing and reading his own name.