UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY - 01/2012

RILEY SPILMAN

45 29

Cat heads float around this city
Like Cheshires with grey whiskers
Moving in riddles found on newspaper stands
Saying something about the murders
People bring their televisions outside
And watch it in the garden SOME SPECTACLE

They fear the storm cloud moving in
With all the ravages of history
That might bury them all
Only when one wanders alone in this place
They remember
Someone is cutting the heads off cats

Follow the trail of red memories
Search for it
Search for the [window]
And the entire world will come together
All of it now:

The first was a twenty something
Prostitute dumped on the outskirts of the city
Investigation was clumsy
A semen sample lost
Murder ignored until added
With the others

The body of a girl, nineteen
About two miles from the city
Hair matted with blood
Although no visible cuts on the head
Face swollen from blunt trauma
Marks on the neck suggest strangulation
Both legs were recently broken
Anal and vaginal tearing
Not clear on cause of death
Her eyes watch the West

A day later an old man came across another corpse
On his way home from the factory
The body was impaled with a metal rod
Arms spread out like Christ
Extensive damage to the face
She was gagged with a rag
Blood was found under her nails
A stab wound in the abdomen
(That seemed to of occurred after death)
Possibly fourteen years of age
No one has claimed her body

Another
Found twenty meters from the last
Crude cuts on the body
Signs of rape and struggle
Both eyes missing
Either a bird or the killers responsible
Nearby the prints of possibly four horses

Tomorrow once again
Black hair blue eyes
Early twenties
Half buried in the desert
Her right breast torn away
As if chewed off
Skirt in tatters cut up like her body
Decomposition will place the murder
Six to eight days old
No one will claim her

Despite numerous suspects and arrests
The list of victims grows at a steady pace
The tally shows
45 girls
29 cats

So we forget these things
And return to our corners

Between the alleys and the cafes
Lies an emptiness that flows
With the skeletons of Mexican girls
Mixing with all those bones
Deep in the sand and aquifers
And between those the seals that separate and bind
Seem and seeming
Jazz horns paint the horizon
In colors of mosquitos
Seven sound in unison

The city cannot hold
It is born

You go home in a brown haze
As the rust cloud descends on the city
Washing away the cigarette butts and bodies and dreams
You search around your house only to find
Nothing
In the cupboards, empty cups
Shredded paper topples over a desk
A flutter of wings and a distant moan
The cats flee and whisper its name
As they fade into the carnivorous mouths of factories
To escape the cloud descending like a nude

The [window] turns an iceberg at night
And outside becomes a cold enigma

You follow a noise but the building creaks with old cats
And your last cup of coffee is empty
Not there
Looking inside the hollow
You think not all is empty in there
Then you turn and waiting outside the [window]
You see it









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