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.