Forensics for Romantics

“A visit to the bedroom of xxx in her boarding house yesterday morning led policemen to discover a piece of scratch paper on which were written several lines about unrequited love.”

POETRY-ROOMDust off this crumpled sheet,
let her story fall into place:

See those strokes? Once flowing lines
in perfect cursive, now nothing more
than a contorted mass on this cold floor.

Now look at her damp hair, splayed
like letters, Ys and Is that once oozed freely
from eloquent fingers, founts of copious ink.

On a crimson pool, her body lays prone,
half her face smudged but serene, observe —
lips pursed, an eye shut, like that.

Tucked, perhaps, under her sleeves
or the soles’ creases, more letters curl
like eyelashes

Find one, pick it up, then let go,
watch it descend in a precarious swirl,
weaving delicately that one missing

line

— L. Evan Florillo

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