Monday, December 3, 2012

J. Rodney Karr


The Victorian clouds withdraw
off France Street and the sunset
becomes the color of The Great
War, not of decapitated pigeons
or pre-scrubbed wooden floors.
Her sister’s suspicion receded
like hairs. Only a few like fish
bones remain. Old. Memory

in her final fever slowly returns,
working backwards as pneumonia
takes hold: the trial, her blue dress
in the stove, the acid, the maid,
and someone naked with blood,
warm like the sun, but bleeding
from within. Her hand reaches out
to draw the blind down like a blade.

J. reads "The Death of Lizzie Borden":

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J. confesses: "I saw Elizabeth Montgomery play Lizzie Borden when I was a kid. It scared the crap out of me. Borden suddenly entered my thoughts again recently. I read a more detailed account of the murders and trial. I imagined how her sister felt years later. I think Borden did it, so I then imagined her dying while recounting the 'uncrime'."

J. RODNEY KARR has published in The Iowa Review, Hayden's Ferry Review and more recently in dirtcakes and the online journal Canary. He lives in Denmark.

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