Hangovers from violence are nastier than those from booze.
The woman in the long turquoise skirt shrugs, bares a shoulder.
Serial killers, she adds, and poets look just like everyone else.
She never opens her mouth enough to get the words out properly.
In a parallel universe she and a man-not-her-husband leave a bistro.
Her soul has given up the gleam granted in the laying on of hands.
A relief map of Rue de Madeline is etched into her grey matter.
Strapped into a taxi, forward strain makes gravity tug her skin.
She emerges, sun-blind, into the path of a garbage truck.
Whoever she was alive, dead she is supremely ordinary.
ANN HOWELLS's poetry appears in Borderlands, Concho River Review, Crannog (Ire), RiverSedge, and Spillway among others. She serves on the board of Dallas Poets Community, 501-c-3 non-profit, and has edited Illya’s Honey since 1999, recently taking it digital (www.IllyasHoney.com) and taking on a co-editor. In 2001, she was named a “Distinguished Poet of Dallas” by the city. Her chapbooks are, Black Crow in Flight, (Main Street Rag Publishing, 2007) and the Rosebud Diaries (Willet Press, 2012). She has been read on NPR, interviewed on Writers Around Annapolis television, and been four times nominated for a Pushcart, twice in 2014. Her first book, a collection of Texas poems illustrated by Dallas artist, Darrell Kirkley, and entitled Under a Lone Star, will be released by Village Books Press early in 2016.