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Real Sorry

August 4, 2011

by LeAnne Ray

Inspired by Aileen Wuornos, executed in 2002 by the State of Florida. Wuornos, homeless most of her life, admitted to killing six men for their money.

you listen. we’re going into these woods together.
slow down. turn left.

anything you want to ask God
ask now and good luck.

he’s a bastard.
all you men are the same.

I do realize how decent you look —
don’t worry about your car

— in your special, little world.
all you golfer-grampa types

turned my life into a real situation,
cruising the interstate in your big boats,

just asking to be ripped off.
if they find you out here someday,

it won’t be your fault:
you were the good citizen,

man of gold.
wrong place, wrong time.

don’t worry, no one’s going to tie you to me.
you understand what I’m saying. cheer up.

it aint like it’s the highlight of my day.
stealing’s work.

rings, watches, crucifix necklaces
(they do catch me: my ass is grass)

metal detectors, golf clubs, cameras.
keep going. slow. good boy.

this little gun off one —
watch that hole there

— shit I stash or pawn,
wheels, cash, booze.

I got a good eye
for you: rich,

lonely, air-conditioned.
you want to save my soul

then fuck me, kill me,
hide me in the bushes.

why else’d you pick up a stranger?
was it worth it? not really asking.

funny,
it’s always your word against mine

out there.
most I ever jackpotted: four hundred bucks.

gave it to my wife.
you heard me. one big wad.

now slow down. stop.
I’m real sorry I have to do it

but witnesses just don’t
shut the fuck up.


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LeAnne Ray holds an MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she apprenticed under Elise Paschen. LeAnne writes poetry and fiction.

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  1. August 4, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    The poem concretizes the raw cynicism and murderous intentions of the persona. The jagged lines, stream-of-consciousness point of view serve the context well. The colloquial rhythm is useful. Is it poetic? Depends on the poetic theory one subscribes to.

  2. Barbara LaMorticella
    October 3, 2011 at 4:33 am

    “Poetic”???? It’s a poem! Harsh, yes. Stark, yes. An honest work of the imagination, yes.

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