Crime, Paranormal, and Horror Writing

Award Winning Poem

The Winner of The Witching Hour Horror Competition for 2014

by M. Brett Gaffney

Dead Girl

I like to pretend I died 
by axe murderer, steamroller, 
lightning strike, something bizarre 
or bloody, an accident that renders 
my body unnatural, my insides 
on the outside so everyone can see 
what I’m made of, my fingers each mailed 
to a different zip code in Tucson, Arizona. 

I could be that girl you heard about 
last summer who fell from a rollercoaster 
mid-loop, her shoes found later in a tree 
like baby birds. Or maybe, the man 
in the subway with the awkward shuffle 
too near the tracks, who looked 
to a group of schoolgirls before he jumped, 
his eyes they remember like two pennies. 

I’ll even take a simple car crash, 
my blood on cloth seats, 
my head somewhere in the trunk 
like luggage, the wreck suitable 
footage for high school drivers’ ed. 
courses, my carnage replayed again 
and again, a cautionary fairytale. 

I can be anyone if I try hard enough, 
if I can forget that morning 
and how easily I slipped away 
beneath the overpass, 
without fuss or fury, how the day 
went on and no one came to find me, 
no crowd with mouths covered, 
how the highway above me 
kept on with its roaring, unaware 
of the dead girl, raccoons 
scavenging my lonely story 
to take to their dens, 
to feed their hungry young. 

by M. Brett Gaffney

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