Sam Hamill

(1943)

Best Poem of Sam Hamill

On the Death of James Oscco Annamaría

When they found his body
in the trash pile
near Pachachaca Bridge
in Abancay,

no one could say
just who it was
who ripped the nails
from his fingertips,

who broke his legs,
who gouged out his eye,
who finally slit his throat.

No one could say
who dumped him in the trash
like a message in a bottle.

No one could say
who it was
or why.

But someone knows
whose hand is on the throttle
and whose is on the gun.

What did the young poet say
that he should have to die?
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