Jodi Arias sings Dido’s “Here With Me” while she waits for the detective. People will be surprised she no longer has blond hair—that’s not the Jodi we knew—& that she can really, really sing. The vibrato on the word “breathe” is like the satisfaction of pulling a loose thread & undoing a hem. It’s believable. I believe it. She scrapes the label off the water bottle like the way he used to undress her.
Court testimony characterizes their relationship as physical without much tenderness, & Nancy, the court reporter, winces every time she punches “anal” into her stenotype, especially since its mostly vowel. Jodi sketches Snow White with a black eye severe. A pentagram. A wad of toilet paper we mistake for a carnation.
When Nancy leaves work, she hums Jodi’s hymn, pictures his body’s confusion in blood. I’ve seen the crime scene photos, & they didn’t shock me as much as I thought they would. Like strangling an ant pile, I can imagine wrapping my hands around a man’s neck. Filling his skull with a bullet of ants. Slicing a neck by tying a ribbon of blade into a strict knot. Each digital camera flash, a match ignited into fantasy, & for a moment, I cradle, very close to me, violence.

Iliana Rocha earned her PhD in English Literature and Creative Writing from Western Michigan University. Her work has been featured in the Best New Poets 2014 anthology, as well as Bennington Review, Blackbird, and West Branch. Karankawa, her debut collection, won the 2014 AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and is available through the University of Pittsburgh Press. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Central Oklahoma and lives with her two chihuahuas Nilla and Beans.