All in by Jennifer Martelli

by Jennifer Martelli

lay spread eagle on the sidewalk

bleeding out state after state: airless blue deep red.


(The men will come with chalk to trace her shape: white edges like hooks,

some like small penises, or a single mitten, and some crawl through the desert

and under a river.)


Three times the country screamed:

the first scream, an old car’s shrill brakes;

the second, a lovers’ spat, but the country knew the man who slapped her around, perhaps

          she asked for it;

third, could’ve been a dog in heat or in want.


And the lit windows were spaces between jack o’lantern teeth, backlit by a fat candle

nestled inside the scraped-out shell.


Honest to god, it could’ve been stopped. Rain-


storm after rainstorm barely washed the blood off this crime scene:

off the hot top, off the granite, off the pitch.


Jennifer Martelli is the author of MyTarantella (Bordighera Press), as well as the chapbook, After Bird (Grey Book Press, winner of the open reading, 2016). Her work has appeared or will appear in Verse DailyThe Sonora Review, and Iron Horse Review (winner, Photo Finish contest). Jennifer Martelli is the recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant in Poetry. She is co-poetry editor for The Mom Egg Review.