Kim Jong-Un’s Half Brother was Murdered by Two Women with Poison Needles

They licked the needles with their tongues after they’d dished dirt about his mother.

They licked the needles after they spoke of their own sopped-up blood.


They pushed the needles in and out in and out of a tight salt-filled strawberry.

The needles honed sharp enough to pierce his coat, sharp as the tack

          my mother stepped on: clean through her left heel callus.


I saw it happen. I was lying on the floor looking up her skirt to see where I came from.

I saw it happen and felt bad because I’d left the tack on the gold shag rug:

          the pointed end hidden in a jungle of golden fibers.

She told me not to look there ever again, not to look ever, ever.


Two women with poison needles made their point. One wrapped lamb’s wool

          around her anklets so the bells wouldn’t give her away.




Jennifer Martelli’s debut poetry collection, The Uncanny Valley, was published in 2016 by Big Table Publishing Company. She is also the author of the chapbook, Apostrophe and the chapbook, After Bird, from Grey Book Press. Her work has appeared in Thrush, [Pank], Glass Poetry Journal, Cleaver, and The Heavy Feather Review. Jennifer Martelli has been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net Prizes and is the recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant in Poetry. She is a book reviewer for Up the Staircase Quarterly, as well as a co-curator for The Mom Egg VOX Folio.