He stepped from something that sure looked
like a time-capsule. We all saw it differently,
and well enough to shuffle back.
He came at us with a silver cloth, unwrapping the pills
we found ourselves snatching and swallowing, red
I think they were, they disappeared so fast.
“Friends, the pill foretells the taste of your final meal.”
And he was gone. It seems he had been about, visitations
on every village green and presidential palace lawn,
a pill for every palate, and all swallowed. On death row
an inmate had lobster, not corn dog, and lived.
Nothing has changed, really. I walk toward the end
knowing its taste will be sweet and sour. Not one of those
too frightened now to eat, who starved to death.
Copyright © Simon Royall 2017
Simon Royall lives and works in Liverpool. His work has appeared in Poetry Review, The Rialto, Magma, Ambit and Antiphon.