christinastoddard.com

Abby's Mother Shows Us Where Ted Bundy Signed Her Yearbook


She goes right to the page

where hes written

Hi Lydia,

the letters

tight as fists on a steering wheel.


In the picture, hes my age.

He walked through my school. Its white tile,

its doorknobs. Ted


who liked

to swing into the skull.

Forward again with both

arms round.


But before that. Before he

opened the telescope

of his hands.

The message says Nice knowing you.


In a cartoon my sister loves

to watch, Ben Franklin

courts storms

with his kite,

and when he is struck


his body keeps changing

from jagged bolt to flesh

and back again.

The buzz is funny. The shaking legs.


Baptized Ted, faith thin

as a wire. Valiant Ted.

Ted of the fraudulent sling

on his arm, struggling with books

when a brunette walks by

her kindness

a mouth of its own.


Ted with the guileless

smile. Ted who didnt flinch.


He kept some of them alive,

for a while. In the woods


whose trees I know.

Their skin unpeeling

into darkness and clodded ground.