Take the throat with its song—
the song that travels across fresh snow—
in your hand. Feel the pulse,
a tiny metronome in the skin.
Play the melody in the wind—
wind chimes at back doors,
whispers reserved for libraries
and study halls. Face the wind
and shoot down the mountain.
It’s snowing again, and the alarm
cries its morning jingle. Good
morning on this gray day.
Good morning to the vibrant
choir. Morning on this mountain.
The flash of a face at the window
distracts the eye. The snap
of a shoe against the floor echoes.
Perhaps the book lends itself
to these figments. Who at a late hour
hasn’t let her light burn after filling
up on lovers and monsters?
Who doesn’t float on the waves
of the typed page? The man
in the next room speaks—
his dreams require a response—
and his voice carries. His prayer
begs retreat. His bed creaks. Metal
cracks teeth and bone, but the crunch
and pinch only last a moment.
Why do men carry closed doors
in their deep voices? Why are
such soft pleas roars? Why
are survivors ignored?
The cigarette’s cherry lantern
sparked and shadows hid
the car, the snarl, the crowbar.
In a hurry, her vision blurry,
she left the library—this route
only required minutes,
not hours. In her building,
the laundry finished
its spin, the contact lenses
soaked in their solution,
the dental floss spooled
around her toothbrush
in the medicine cabinet,
the film paused on its opening
title, and her pure heart,
not there, but somewhere,
She’s a quarter of a mile down a side road.
Lord knows what the little creatures
would’ve done. Can you hear that?
Her head’s severed and taken like a gift
up a rocky hillside. He’s breaking out
of a fever. He’s waking up to this
discovery. She’s up in the mountains.
Up in the Cascades. The body
count lower than expected—
ashes in a fireplace, buried
skulls in the grove of evergreens,
the chain link fence catching thrown
shoes, blouses, and handcuffs.
What’s discussed here is the priority.
Unidentified pieces pieced together,
a puzzle, for someone to solve.
Can you hear that? The case they have
is weak. This will take years and years.
Erasure poem SOURCE: Transcripts of Stephen G Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth’s interviews with serial killer Ted Bundy.
Bio: Cat Dixon is the author of Eva and Too Heavy to Carry (Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2016, 2014) and the chapbook, Table for Two (Poet’s Haven, 2019). Recent poems have appeared in LandLocked, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Abyss & Apex. She is a poetry editor at The Good Life Review.