posted Jun 3, 2014

they said instantly
not like the song & dance
thing that goes on a while
& nobody's paying
attention because it
is clearly too late for
the party to redeem
itself, no they said
instantly but there
was no head rolling
down though they said
instantly the girl was
decapitated instantly
a thread of skin still
as wire & they said
we are not sure if it
counts technically
her head is still
attached by this little
bit over here. severance
only comes in
absolutes. what do
I believe, now:
instantly decapitated
or severe head and neck
trauma resulting in
near-instantaneous death?
when they tried to
move her the skin broke
and everyone was relieved
we were somewhere
recognizable now, we
could call it something
we all knew we were
absolutely certain now.

Marina Kaganova writes poems, studies the Caucasus, and lives in Brooklyn, NY most of the year.

Kaganova’s poem “Where I See Myself in Ten Years” also appears in this issue.