Mercy By Claire S. Lee


Backtrack six months and the boy
who fell dead to the police is alive,
wriggling spineless down the alley-
way, beat on rhythm, not knowing
that the earth would try to swallow
his still-warm body one night
but gag on the lifeless heap.
The earth is a mouth
that cannot be fed. Even after,
cool asphalt bays for his skin
the same way hawk desires rabbit.
If only he hadn’t been
blowing those pretty kisses
from a cocked hand-toy
to trigger the fear-ridden pulses
that shoot to kill,
bullet exiting clean through
his skull and leaving him sprawled
like a butchered bird, bullet still soaring,
burrowing itself so deep
in the sinews of the sleeping town
that surgeons
were rendered useless.

By Claire S. Lee


Claire S. Lee is a student at Canyon Crest Academy. Her writing has been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and appears or is forthcoming in *82 Review, Blue Marble Review, and Eunoia Review, among others. She works as an editor for COUNTERCLOCK and as an editorial intern for The Blueshift Journal. Though she loves poetry and nonfiction, her favorite genre is historical fiction.

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