Chain of Custody

By Sharon D. Kennedy-Nolle

Item Number EV-69-16 Case Number, CE-1896-16/SJS 64544:
Date, Time, Place of Recovery (12/29/16 @16:30 hours, Shaft 18 by boat launch),
Recovered By Det. Yemena Cortez. I must sign.
I must sign again after the Date, Time, Place of Receival,
From Locker 9 To Det. Carlson, Date (7/10/17).
An invoice, the detective in sunglasses called it.
It came envelope tidy,
and in that, officially sealed,
the last baggy
so hard
to scissor open; but when done,
it breathes the aftermath of you,
one month under, to the day.
(What strange moss-made creature
might you have become
if you had stayed at the bottom?)
Orange dust pimples the wallet,
faintly sprinkling my hands, my lap, like fairy spice.
Awful anointing, odd sachet,
all day I wear the smell of your death.
Must on my hands, old mold sweet,
must on my hand, lips.

Sharon Kennedy-Nolle holds an MFA in poetry from the Writers’ Workshop and a Ph.D. in American Literature from the University of Iowa. Chosen as the 2020 Chapbook Editor’s Pick by Variant Literature Press, Black Wick: Selected Elegies was published in 2021. Her full-length manuscript, Ghost Forest was chosen as a 2021 finalist for the Black Lawrence Press’s St. Lawrence Book Award and as a 2021 semifinalist for the University of Wisconsin Poetry Series’ Brittingham and Felix Pollak Prizes.

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