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Murder by the Numbers: Poem by Robert Jeschonek
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Hard Work Damned on the Road to Extinction: Poem by Richelle Lee Slota
The Lonely Planet Guide to Death: Poem by Richelle Lee Slota
my mind: Poem by Meg Baird
the non: Poem by Meg Baird
giant cottonwood tree: Poem by Judith Nielsen
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crows in our hayloft: Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
spring kicks off its boots: Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
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A Reason to Put the Rent Up: Poem by Richard LeDue
Giving Up on Hope: Poem by Richard LeDue
Abstract Art: Poem by John C. Mannone
The Apartment Building: Poem by John C. Mannone
Disinfected: Poem by John C. Mannone
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Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

John C. Mannone: Disinfected

93_ym_disinfected_jreal.jpg
Art by Jack Real 2022

Disinfected

 

by John C. Mannone

 

Sky is still dark with cracks of light

when we arrive at the river. Fog

from after-rain mists the brackish

gray water and the amorphous shape

floating between the harbor pylons

 

just as the informant said.

The charred remains sloshes, waves

slap concrete; crabs latched to torso

clawing remnants of breast—someone’s

lover, someone’s daughter.

 

We grapple her body, drag it

to shore and into a plastic bag:

her nose, mouth, tinted with blood,

her insides exploded from flames.

Probably tortured before her body

 

was cast into swift water.

The ride to the morgue, silent, except

for the swish of puddled rain entrained

by tire treads—a static hush, perhaps

a lament for this young woman.

 

Body bag crinkles when it’s unzipped.

Under fluorescent lights, the conflagration

didn’t leave much more than pallor. Mouth

gaped open, but taciturn. Only screams

of horror socket her eyes. I hear it

 

as if it were my own child’s voice.

That night in my bed, I lie still

unable to sleep, the stench

of bleach in my nostrils, my hands

shriveled from scrubbing, scrubbing

 

clean the blood that seeped out.

My own heart sutured by duty, my eyes

still burning from what they’ve seen

and from the horror they have yet to see.

 

 

 

John C. Mannone has poems in Windhover, North Dakota Quarterly, Poetry South, Baltimore Review, and others. Winner/Nominee of numerous contests/awards, John edits poetry for Abyss & Apex and other journals. He’s a retired physics professor living in Knoxville, Tennessee.

 

http://jcmannone.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/jcmannone/



Originally from Bronx, New York, Jack Real works as a plumber in New Jersey. When he’s not snaking pipes, he likes to have a few beers and listen to Classic Rock with his childhood friend, fellow Yellow Mama artist Jack Pepper.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2022