Forensic Examination of a Murder Case

our love didn’t die quietly in the night

it was a drive-by shooting

the kind where a casual word becomes the one bullet that tears through the wall and into a heart that had already stopped beating

should the rifling be inspected, your name will be written in grooves and divots

the casing burns black into the floor – it waits to be shoved into an evidence bag

the outline of my body is drawn on our bed in thick chalk lines

arterial spray: a cloud of red mist on poorly painted walls

my hands are clean of gun shot residue but are filthy with tears

latex-coated fingers calculate how much DNA can be swabbed from my cheeks

will it be enough for the jury?

while the justice system promises, “you’ll get over him”

my sightless eyes stare open, truly blind


Published by Ren Martinez

Ren is a thirty-something Lost Boy whose personal aesthetic is “suspected of witchcraft by local villagers.” She subscribes to cheerful nihilism, the destruction of the patriarchy, and the belief that glitter makes everything better. She is a Richmond-based writer and performer who has fiction and non-fiction work found in a variety of publications, such as The Mary Sue, RVA Magazine, The Quotable, and Nostrovia Press. She is currently the fiction editor and a regular contributor at Quail Bell Magazine. She is also the co-host of the podcast, This F***ing Guy! Find out more at or read her dumbass tweets on Twitter @itsrenmartinez

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