The man who throws women off the Whitestone Bridge,
delighting in how they splatter like water balloons,
has memorized every word Milton ever wrote.
Later, he feeds blue jays oily black seeds
and drinks oily black coffee,
watching children twirl on their swings and
build castles in a sandbox
cats piss in.
We spend the day filling notebooks,
dusting for prints,
but no one really expects us to solve anything.
On the evening news we admit we’re of no help at all
and hope by saying so we offer some consolation.
We do wonder, though, what those parents think their
children smell like when they go off to school and who it was
brought death into the world and all our woe.

Copyright © 2018 John Surowiecki. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Summer 2018.