Body in Evidence

Ann Killough

She imagined the body in the exact middle of the evidence like a spider in its web.

Or perhaps like the prey still struggling incoherently over to one side of the web with the inward threads of the spider around it already seeming like its own unbearable guts.


Of course in her case the body turned out to be the body of the beloved idea of her nation.

Which seemed always of a different order than the fabric of ideological evidence, within which it hung like a lynched man.

Its main characteristic being intrusion, a helpless intrusive quality against which it turned out that the evidence had been organized all along and which was the only thing that remained incomprehensible.

Its main characteristic being a kind of mute surplus over all possible results to be obtained by its entrapment in the vast matrix of metaphors that she could now see stretching out on all sides infinitely.

The endlessly proliferating suburbs of entrepreneurial fabulist historical high-voltage gridlock sewage metaphoricity of the gluttonous national evangelism of understanding.

Within which the beloved idea hung like a lost sheep.


She was aware that her love for it was a naked thing.

Poor, universal.

She couldn’t help it, it was all she had.

Ann Killough's
work has appeared in Fence, Field, Mudfish, Poetry Ireland, Salamander, Sentence and elsewhere. Her chapbook Sinners in the Hands: Selections from the Catalog received the 2003 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize from Texas Review Press. Her Kinereth Gensler Award winning manuscript, Beloved Idea, has just been published by Alice James Books. She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, where she is one of the coordinators of the Brookline Poetry Series as well as of the Mouthful Reading Series in Cambridge.