9 January 2020

The detective, a poem by Rethabile Masilo

I have evidence of fire inside you,
after the smoke has cleared
but embers glare still
like glow bugs.

I can only imagine how you unwrapped
each other before I arrived,
then wrapped your arms
around what is hemmed in
at the centres of you, the heat
still smouldering.

I have evidence of it.

But I’m a detective who only sees what was done,
who must imagine the rest—gasps
in lingering hallways, breath
sucked in, held—
the soft splosh of a blade entering flesh.

These are what I have to work with:
smirks
on the death of your faces, the musk
of DNA in the air.

Someone will study the whorls of your fingers
and compare them
to what is on the kill weapon, the fridge door,
edges of the kitchen table
and the headboard in the bedroom
where some of it happened,

until this case has been unraveled.




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