Death of a City Councilman The parish line was not a fence or wall apart, just cypress trees and angry cicadas, snakes rattling through the underbrush. He was the only honest pol in a city lies built brick by brick, shuttered windows with green iron hooks, deadbolts against sunlight. Darwin taught adaptation, shedding skin after skin or changing colors on desert rocks, the logic of a chameleon. Yet he chose a noose, twilight, a broken neck over six months in a prison where golf scores improved daily, the tennis ball machine never broke down. Bid rigging, offshore banks, parking lot payoffs by the dozen were common trade, though his sin was uploading a few thousand into a private account, safe from the tax man. He wanted to believe in atonement, his soul tipping the brass scale while acolytes were raped by priests moved from church by an archbishop dressed in red and black robes. Hardly Judas, he looped a rope over a low-hanging branch, stepped off the hood of a car driven to the swampy edge of a world between worlds. Owls alone heard the creak and saw him sway. The snakes beneath his feet swam free.
William Miller’s eighth collection of poetry, LEE CIRCLE, was published by Shanti Arts Press in 2019. His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner and West Branch. He lives and writes in the French Quarter of New Orleans.