This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Solstice Black, is from The Damage Doneby Susana H. Case, released by Broadstone Books in 2022.
The detective has had a Gillette coated
stainless steel razor for years.
He, too, is becoming an old story.
The slight blue tinge in the white tile
of the bathroom makes him look ill,
a reddish-yellow cast in the whites
of his eyes. Age encircles the periphery
like a feral dog, or a federal cop,
looking for weak spots.
He has awakened to a horror movie,
like watching the march of the undead.
Lately, he awakens this way every day
he’s on the job. Today, it’s some
revolutionary task force sprinkling the city
with bombs that plays with his head.
He barely has time to think
about the little electronic tracker—it meets
discovered under Janey’s Karmann Ghia.
He has suspicions, but—
there are no fingerprints.
Susana H. Case has authored eight books of poetry, most recently The Damage Done, Broadstone Books, 2022, which won her a third Pinnacle Book Achievement Award. Her books have previously also won an IPPY, a NYC Big Book Award Distinguished Favorite award, and she was a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award and the International Book Awards. The first of her five chapbooks, The Scottish Café, Slapering Hol Press, was re-released in a dual-language English-Polish version, Kawiarnia Szkocka by Opole University Press. She co-edited, with Margo Taft Stever, the anthology I Wanna Be Loved by You: Poems on Marilyn Monroe, Milk and Cake Press, 2022. Case worked several decades as a university professor and program coordinator in New York City and currently is a co-editor of Slapering Hol Press and a co-host of the literary series W-E: Poets of the Pandemic and Beyond.
Solstice Black (she/they) is a queer poet and novelist living in the Pacific Northwest. They are currently undertaking a bachelor’s degree in creative writing. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Chautauqua, The Fantastic Other, and A Forest of Words, among others. They hope to pursue an MFA in creative writing and a BFA in visual art in the next few years. Her cat is both her greatest joy and torment.