Timothy McVeigh

Return to The Dante Dreams Project

Dante treads through twisted trees
and finds a macabre scene:
harpies stoking a fire beneath
a clear chamber. Suspended
within, like a hologram, a tall,
thin man stares down at dead
children and infants.

The man reaches out to them
but then
      they
            are
                        gone,
like angels offered
            and
                  taken
                        away.

Dante asks, “Why are you here?”

“I bombed a building. Killed 168.”

“Including those innocents who shun
            your touch?”

“Collateral damage.”

“Those are shadows,” says Dante.
“Their souls surely in Heaven.”

Even the harpies go silent.

Dante speaks again.
“Your voice seems cold.
Others I’ve met here
            beg and plead.”

“I knew I would go to hell.”
The bomber pauses.
“They call you, ‘Pilgrim.’
Yet pilgrims act with purpose.
You chase dreams like smoke.”

Dante feels the sting.
I pity the darkness within your soul.”

As he walks past the chamber,
a wing beat grazes his arm:
a single
            dismissive
                  brush.

Timothy James “Tim” McVeigh was an American who detonated a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995 in Oklahoma City in the United States. Commonly referred to as the Oklahoma City bombing, the attack killed 168 people and injured over 600. According to the United States Government, it was the deadliest act of terrorism within the United States prior to September 11, 2001, and remains the most significant act of domestic terrorism in United States history.

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