Monday, September 19, 2011

Charles Rammelkamp


Her fingerprints all over the stolen cell phone,
Sequanda was in as deep as "Ya,"
her boyfriend who stabbed the young man
after midnight near the train station,
even after he'd offered his wallet,
trying to avert violence.

Sequanda kicked him as he lay bleeding,
then she and Ya fled to their apartment,
sending her unwitting cousin Waverly
to use the cancer researcher's credit card.
Sequanda fingered Waverly
when the cops came around.

But when the state's attorney offered a deal
to reduce Sequanda's sentence
if she came clean about Ya,
she changed her story,
and perjury, Ya's wrath, and Waverly's revenge
rained like ash from a burning house.

Gerald So reads "Plea Bargain":

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Charles confesses: "Twenty years ago I served on a jury in which a convicted perjurer had changed her story to protect her husband, whom she'd originally fingered for a drug crime when the two were no longer together. Having reconciled with her husband, she was now singing a different tune. It's a familiar story."

CHARLES RAMMELKAMP lives in Baltimore and edits the online journal, The Potomac. In 2012 Time Being Books will publish his collection Fusen Bakudan involving missionaries during the Vietnam war, and a chapbook of poems entitled Mixed Signals is forthcoming from MuscleHead Press.

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