Enormous Mistakes

She says it was an enormous mistake, calling the photos

Of her in the magazine a rape. She meant a violation,

Which sounds better. But the oil is already out there, the black

Is filling the pockets of the coast. First the marshes,

Then more water goes black, then more. The thick book will say it was the day

Humans took too many liberties. It was the day

The walking free killer was seen getting into a cab

In a city in South America. My book

Is over six-hundred pages long and it tells me how to avoid mistakes.

Understand conflict can be subtle, know what plot is,

And you can make any sort of story you want.

The killer can wear red. He can dye his hair black

And move like oil through borders, telling the world

His story and his lawyer can say, let’s not rush to judgment.

And the audience is free to judge. They can lift the dead to the sky

And make someone pay for the enormous mistake.


Tasha Cotter’s poetry has been featured in a variety of print and online journals. Her work is forthcoming in Sleet and Poets’ Quarterly. She lives in Colorado Springs where she is at work on a novel. To read more of Tasha’s work visit her website at tashacotter.com.

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