The Crime

There are slugs in the garden,
sliding gray sausage links  

making funny faces.
You salt them and they shrivel  

inside themselves, or you
take a stone and smash  

it down. You just know
when something doesn’t belong,  

you feel it, and
on other days you feel  

differently. Those days you
carry them across the yard  

and set them down careful,
sweet, on a branch or leaf.  

You cry that you were there
to catch them in the act,  

to see something and
have to stop it.  

If only a mouth would widen
through the slime, scold  

and shame, find a way
to share its story of coming  

to the garden to make
you uncomfortable.  

Some days it’s easier to kill
than to imagine such things.

Lauren Bender lives in Burlington, VT. Her work has appeared in IDK Magazine, The Collapsar, Gyroscope Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Yes Poetry, and others. You can find her on twitter @benderpoet.

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