Sisters: Murder, Suicide

                    Iris Sanchez was a victim of serial killer Joel Rifkin.
                    Iris’ sister, Zaida Dandridge, was a New York City Housing Police


They found the frame of your ivory house
The walls gone to earth and smaller lives
Sockets bare
Spires no longer tied together.

He awaited your creation:
The poor foundation
The failed reinforcement.
Not enough mortar
To keep the stones of life in place.

He came to you, nails dirty,
Rolling those meek shoulders
Embarrassed by his need
Offering green promises
To love and end you.


Sometimes, no one comes for you
You see the acrid smell
Breathe the lurid copper on your tongue.
Rising to meet your hopeless heart.

The taking, always the taking away –
The bad marriage, a young sister
You could not save,
With all the art and wisdom
They said you’d have
After the Academy.
It’s only called a shield.

Life is the moment when
A signal slips down the arm
to the hand, to the finger,
A leap of something less than faith.
The heavy tool       obeying.


“Ice Cream Party” © TJ Edson


J. Barrett Wolf has been writing for over forty years. His first volume, Stark Raving Calm, was published by Boone’s Dock Press. He lives in Binghamton, NY and travels annually to Scotland to write with British poets.

TJ Edson is the Art Director of Oddball Magazine and a volunteer at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery. He has also had work appear recently in Terrarium.