Poem of the Week | October 26, 2010

This week we present a new poem by Dore Kiesselbach, “Police.” The poem is previously unpublished. Kiesselbach won Britain’s Bridport Prize in poetry last year. His work has appeared in magazines such as Antioch Review, FIELD and New Letters, and been featured on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. A graduate of Oberlin College and the University of Iowa, he lives in Minneapolis.

Author’s Note: “The murder and subsequent suicide attempts occurred on campus during my student days. Was it our first hint of a connection between the library and morgue? We spoke of it in ways of thinking only recently learned, using education to protect our innocence. The gentleness in question can sometimes be seen when police tuck the bowed heads of suspects into cars.”


We sat by the library and talked about the murder that occurred the night
He was nice and she was nice and alone that night they quarreled
and when he saw what his thumbs had done he threw himself down
a dormitory stairwell but it was a small school and the fall only broke
   some bones
so he pulled himself back up and threw himself off again
and broke himself up so much he couldn’t move.
They found him there curled up in the shape of a fossil predating people.
Is it because crime completes those charged with preventing it, one of us
that they can be so gentle with the accused when no one is looking?