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Accolade Winner Showcase C. L. Liedekev June Accolades

Landscape with Nicole Brown Simpson’s Head

By C. L. Liedekev

You wonder who really deserves it. What is easy, what is hard.
What your own death will be. Small gruesome polaroid
of your body paperclipped to a manilla folder,
some failing grade, some excused absence. You think
death and you think of her head, flipped back,
skin gripping on the body flap. Her precious body, this wondrous
and crippled thing, full of holes both tiny and big, both real
and foreign. And now it lays in the California sun,
which you remember as hammering as you walked
back from In and Out Burger on some work trip.
Young belly immune to slashing wounds. That same
immortality was not contagious, did not spread along
to what spirit she became. Her head is long since
turned to crabapple and ash. A box with her name
in gold, bought by her killer, touched by the orphans
left behind. The tiny hawk circled them that day
and every day since. Its screech has her voice
as soothing as heartbreak, as soothing as true.
Then you see we all deserve it, one last surprise party
thrown by our dead or not dead parents. Everyone
is there, everyone is laughing and drinking, and
holding sharp blades at the exposed landscape of a neck.

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