Faces Of Death by David Polochanin

We gathered in Franco’s basement that summer–no adults home to keep a watch on us–and found the hidden movie, a videotape with no label. But we all knew what it was: Faces of Death. Even the title gave us chills and sent a few boys home for the afternoon to be a regular kid, willing to ride bikes, for once, with their little brothers. In our cave of secrecy we shivered with fear as we slid the tape into the VCR and watched a man executed in the electric chair, saliva bubbling at his mouth, and another scene showing a ring of people hammering a monkey’s head and then eating the primate’s brain. Nauseous, we assumed all of it was real. In the stillness of our friend’s house, the movie challenged our better judgment. Yet we couldn’t stop watching, positioned a few feet in front of the glowing Magnavox, trying to gut it out, knowing our parents wouldn’t approve, but forgiving ourselves, chalking it up to one of those things that boys do.


David Polochanin is a teacher, poet, essayist, and former journalist whose poetry has appeared in Blueline, Albatross, Sentence, Negative Suck, Toasted Cheese, and Gadfly Online. He lives in Connecticut. Follow him on Twitter @DavidPolochanin.