When the dead girl says beautiful murder she means these hooks are for oystering. She uses those cemetery words you’ve never spoken, wielding them like crucifixion, seizure. You remember her as a bruise, a wink, a tattooed wrist smitten with tar. She is a cut in the shape of a grin. You are positioning the blood so it looks true. She might appear beneath a sun-scorched eyelid as shadow, sinew. She knows your heart is as violent as a queen’s opinion. For this, you whisper lost wife, white dish, weave me a silhouette. Later, you swing a broom counterclockwise, hoping she will materialize in a cyclone of dust mites. You imagine her voice tunneling in your ear, an accusation. Kneeling, you take a breath of rain from a rusty pail. You are fashioning a hangman’s knot.

Susan Slaviero’s first full length collection of poetry, CYBORGIA, is available from Mayapple Press. She has two chapbooks: Apocrypha (Dancing Girl Press, 2009) and An Introduction to the Archetypes (Shadowbox Press, 2008). Her work has appeared in journals Rhino, Flyway, Oyez Review, Artifice Magazine, and others both online and in print. She designs and edits the woman-centered lit zine blossombones.

Maybe You Are a Serial Killer: With a Conscience: Or a Crime Writer
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