“One More Avoidable Crime Scene”, John Dorroh

Diane Corson, Cave Art (detail)


“One More Avoidable Crime Scene “


Our neighbor’s vehicle hasn’t moved in over a week.
   I want to send a text to see if she’s okay, if there’s anything
      she needs. My lover tells me that I’m too much like Mrs. Kravitz

in Bewitched. My eyes burn when I look into the sky
   at fizzy white clouds that bottom out across the road on the ridge
      where maples used to hug the soil. Dandelions have taken over

the backyard and molehills large enough to appear
   like mountain ranges to the black ants that wait for crumbs
      from our next outdoor party. I swear I don’t know where I’m going

or why I feel the urge to burn everything I own.
   Just yesterday I was on a rib boat off the coast of Iceland, kissing
      blue whales and breathing in their salt breath. I think I must have been

born Nordic because it’s the only place where things make sense.
   So what if our neighbor has been bludgeoned to death with a golf club
      and all she needed to live was someone to care enough to ask,

Are you okay?

John Dorroh


Review by Mykyta Ryzhykh

Only one question: “Are you okay?”. And many, many words, questions, answers, references to pop culture, which hang over the last line-question like a sheer cliff.

Now, every time I honor poetry, I will ask myself: “Are you okay?”.


Review by Nancy Sobanik

John Dorroh’s poem poses important questions- where does the boundary between neighborly concern and nosiness start and end? Are we our brother and sister’s keeper, or should we mind our own business? Life has lost its sense of adventure and become insulated. The backyard has devolved into a disheveled place, echoing the sense of loneliness and personal disintegration felt by the narrator. The enjambed lines emphasize the narrator’s internal soliloquy of thoughts.

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