Northwords Now Issue 36

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Clues to unsolved cases

by Mark Ryan Smith

That night they watched

the slow burn
of the unused outbuilding,

residents reported
a gentle pulse
of blue light.

On the hanging jackets
she smells smoke, finds
a tideline of sootstains
in the porcelain sink.

On July 15th  
residents reported
the mass breakdown
of domestic appliances.

Every morning for a month
the thick smell of low tide.

The story goes
he had a talent
for the zodiac,

that he was kind of heart
but touched in some way.

A jagged glass muffled
in a bunched red shirt.

On September 13th
residents reported
a terrible taste
in the water,

and that the only thing
to rely on was the mail
never coming on time.