Life Sentence

Joann K. Deiudicibus


“What I did was deplorable. The world has enough
misery in it without my adding more to it, sir.
I can assure you that it will never happen again.”
Jeffrey Dahmer, American Serial Killer, to Judge Gardner
Do not leave dark loneliness.
My lot in life, my only gain remains loss.
My personhood is a palsied thing, a blood flower
budding between teeth—love cut at its thin, red stem.
Stay slender and lean. Flesh veiled sinew must be savored.
I am the bone bleacher, carcass curator,
strange one collecting roadkill alone, a son of science.
Still the jogger’s joints…Sedate! Suffocate
strangled sex with Mr. Mannequin.
Embalm mankind! Dissolve this desire
to fornicate and fillet, then deliquesce.
I am the headhunter, casting skeletal confetti like stars.
I rest upon godless chests that go breathless.
Death’s beatless drumming pounds my corpse awake.
I created this horror from mad gut-hunger:
Skin strips, skull-drippings, beings undressed,
packaged parts, two of hearts—my anatomical exhibition,
a gentleman’s museum.
Police piece together life by Polaroids
and an atheist’s altar to absence—
hands cut at the cuff, mouths moaning mute,
memberless roots grow my empty ecstasy.
For what I did, I should be dead.


Shawangunk Review Volume XXIX Copyright © 2018 by Joann K. Deiudicibus. All Rights Reserved.

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