Criminal Chance


He misplaced first constellation in the womb
Of a woman. Her name was ‘mother’.
What did a word mean?
They shared a single probability
A double helix,
The anatomical echo of her degradation imprinted
In bases of four. He would run, but where to?
The road inside his home led
Back to itself: evergreen, ornamented
With the carcass of Christmas bottles and disallowance,
Misfortune grown old but sold young. He pursued
A second path, sought past insistence contours
Of magic and metal—surely their dances disallowed
The alliteration of feeling.


Inspired by Adrian Raine’s The Anatomy of Violence

What of the Ending?


It cannot be said that he had lived:
such a term must resist
Association with unlucky harpstrings and lecherous feet,
Fifth and third harmonics forgotten somewhere
Between the dotted lines
Connecting what-could-have-been and that plane of gold
Violence. He wanted nothing more—or nothing less?—
Than a summary calculation of his misdemeanors. Could they
Be mixed into a shot of sawdust and Promethean disregard,
An alchemical decomposition of that night and all nights thence,
Unweave from his mind, that fast-pacing mind, the marcato
Of his reflection, stained with the guilt of glass
And the judgment of her cinnamonbrown laughter?
He carried underneath his pillow—always!—
The black cartridge of his dissolution. He lacked only
The constitution for a final performance.