"Published Evidence," A Poem
Sentences, phrases, words,
hold the character of the writer.
Fingerprints on dog-eared pages
cast a bright ultraviolet light on the words
to see inside a soul.
The yellow manila file holds photographs, documents, records of statements.
Coffee cups around the computer,
coffee stains on napkins,
blood stains on the clothing of the victim.
As the detective sifts through the words and photographs
looking for a lead, a motive.
Crumbs of data around.
Words, arrows, circled, lowercase, uppercase letters.
Question marks on the board.
Photos on the board.
Inspect the corpse of words.
Look in between the lines.
Look into the lines.
Inspect around and take in the story.
Listen to the alibis and detect the inconsistencies
the culprit’s plot will be revealed.
Follow the clues of the trail with every flip of the page—
Analyze the location of hints and Easter eggs.
Are they hiding in plain sight?
Gather evidence to support your conclusion.
Your final answer before time runs,
and there are no more pages to turn to—
No more accomplices to turn to.
That’s when you reread the scenes, not merely glossing over.
Don’t overlook the punctuation, look closer.
Statements in the quotes could be untruths,
Beware of red herrings—swimming in the coastal waters.
Don’t mistake their silver for a false appearance of red.
Finally, the detective spots the evidence
pointing to one conclusion, one culprit.
Take the words apart and capture a mental photograph,
to dissect and probe at the meaning
of the open book,
on the coroner’s table.