Our eyes cannot see through the polished cufflinks and clean underwear put on that morning; over the same legs that walk past you and sway in the train when it breaks; the same arms that hold groceries and hand them over at the till; the usual pleasantries made with the cashier whose body is later found in the field.
After reading this article written by the husband of a woman who had been murdered, I have been thinking about the topic of ordinary killers. I’m not beyond imagining that we’re all capable of extremes of harm and violence. However, I wonder how it is that there are ordinary men who walk among us, who put on their clean clothes, take transport, buy groceries and – at some point in their existence – take someone else’s life.
It’s gendered manifestations of such ordinary violence that bothers me. And that in many instances the perpetrator is often known by the victim. And, indeed, by a wider community in which they both exist.
This is not a cheerful topic, and not one on which I wish to dwell – least of all write poetry. But it’s a situation in the world that’s really on my mind.
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness