Sarah Freligh ~ A Brief Natural History of ‘Law and Order’

Tuesday you’re the girl who was raped and stabbed and stuffed into trash bags with­in eye­shot of two exec­u­tive high ris­es on the Upper West Side. The trash bags will lead Briscoe and Green to a sus­pect, a parks employ­ee whose own mom used to lock him in a clos­et so she could par­ty in peace

Wednesday you’re the girl on a slab in the morgue, your body dust­ed in white light. On a break, the sus­pect brings you a cup of cof­fee dark as the dirt they’ll bury you in. He talks to the scars that hair-and-make­up carved on the curve of your tits. You vow again to study ven­tril­o­quism so your tits can talk back.

Thursday you’re the long-gone twin of the dead girl. You wear a pilled cardi­gan rav­el­ing at the elbows and a dark wig that sweats your head, a guilty itch. You swear on a bible to tell the truth, that your sis­ter was a crack­head who blew men in bath­rooms for spare change. You sob on the stand, an Emmy wor­thy per­for­mance. The direc­tor yells cut and asks for a lit­tle less hys­te­ria, please.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday: You sleep in late.

Monday, you’re found guilty of killing your twin who was real­ly the good sister.

Tuesday, you’re eat­ing lunch in the park when a man in a green uni­form hoists two trash bags and toss­es them into a dump­ster. He wipes his hands and walks toward you, smiling.


Sarah Freligh is the author of four books, includ­ing Sad Math, win­ner of the 2014 Moon City Press Poetry Prize and We, pub­lished by Harbor Editions in ear­ly 2021.