by Patrick Cahill

She fled the crime scene, unclothed, a killer. We tracked her through woodland, we tracked her through thickets, but she absorbed the light as she fled. Mosquito grit rose in her wake. Perfume, sweat, cuts, insects her clothing now. Wind swept back from a river she sought a deletion in her flight. Our flashlights’ yellow probes passed over the undergrowth. We moved through shadows our memory house, leaves an eruption of blood into the dusk, dragon scales a thicket of birds silent in their flight, our victim’s wound a sheath for her abandoned knife, clotted with motive, recollection, the past. Will she vanish in the water’s rush as we go on, free of mirrors, its dark surface her reflection now—her lacerations a diagram of these events? Will we go on, follow the river downstream its bank, find comfort in its ceaseless, indifferent noise, or upstream toward a puzzle of uncertain intent?

Patrick Cahill co-founded and edits Ambush Review, a San Francisco based literary and arts magazine. He received his Ph.D. in History of Consciousness at UCSC. His poetry twice received the Central Coast Writers Award. Recent work has appeared in Left Curve, San Francisco Peace and Hope, Digging Our Poetic Roots, Otoliths, Forgotten, Volt, Aji, Into The Void, riverbabble, The Other Side of Violet (great weather for Media), and Permafrost Magazine.


This is one of these odd types of pieces that I tend to favor. Both surreal and grounded, Doubt takes us into the underbrush of the mind. Thank you Patrick.
Victor D. Sandiego, Nov 16, 2017