“Experiences of Evidence” by Dan Bodah

old negatives, Aleksandar Cocek

Experiences of Evidence

Five Accidental Injuries
               (or, Five Injuries by Accident Obtained)

Laceration across right index finger
with corresponding puncture to right middle knuckle;
received when opening broken umbrella

Across the finger-fore it sliced, on point.
To sink its tooth into the third one’s joint—
The bumbershoot’s failed stretcher, which blood does anoint.

Laceration across base of right large toenail;
received when inadvertently kicking
thin sheet of wood mistaken for cardboard
while wearing sandals

A wood veneer seemed cardboard on its face.
With kick, delivered to its proper place.
But lasting gouge, at base of toe’s nail, it did trace.

Gash to bottom of right big toe and
base of right second toe;
twisted left ankle and knee;
received by tripping on worn rug
of platform for washer and dryer.

On platform’s edge, soft wrapping rent and torn,
exposes splinters—seeking to adorn.
One foot with blood, twist other knee and ankle worn.

Bruise and abrasion to left shin;
received by stubbing shin on futon frame
while seeking blanket in dark guest bedroom.

Whilst searching through an unfamiliar room,
the guest against the bedstead sets abloom.
A blemished bruise that raises on his shank pain’s gloom.

Bruise to right thigh, with accompanying abrasions
to both forearms; received when exiting
parked car, tripping over curb,
and falling into large concrete planter

These welts on thigh and arms united be.
Though distant, both rose from one jamboree:
A curb unseen, our fool fell full into a tree.


II.             Found Poem
                 (At the agency to investigate police misconduct)

From:             [Redacted]
To:                  Team 5
Subject:         Photos

A group of photos     has been found.
I do not know     who they belong to.
A description of these     pictures is below:

#1. Blood on a tee-shirt     #2. A ripped pair of pants
#3. A man standing     in a red shirt
#4. A blue shirt that is     ripped & has blood on it
#5. A man with stitches     on his head
#6. A man with stitches     on his arm

If these pictures are yours,     please come to my desk.


Bodah - author photoDan Bodah works as a poet and the host of the fifth or sixth most popular show on WFMU-FM, Vocal Fry. Episodes can be heard Mondays at seven p.m. or binged online anytime. His poems have appeared in Modern Haiku, Ghost City Press, tinywords, Blueline, Lost and Found Times, Adirondack, and many other venues. He also has published chapbooks: Inside the Dream Flap (Ghost City Press) and Eyes & Roots (Many Moons). In his downtime, Dan is an attorney and criminal justice researcher specializing in police accountability, community access to policing data, and use of force policy.