True Crime (The Names)

Crime Poetry by Jonah Finn

True Crime (The Names)

So easy for it all to become sleaze,
a paperback whose pictures we go to first:
slick maps, whited-out bodies, but still the blood,
and what was once a life now already
a somber half-hour screenplay of
bad reenactments and commercial breaks,
someone’s totality reduced to a name
eternally knotted with its killer,
their destruction merely shaping the narrative
for the news, at best barely a few minutes
of news-reader sentiment and quick mourning.
Or their names are listed in an index
beside the one who did it or the means,
as if we’ve the right to know the names at all
if they’re only there – black print upon a page –
for some unwinding after the workday,
titillation blending with boredom as
a page number or plot point defines them,
a crease in the spine or how the credits roll
and details doled out…

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