Song for Circe

                        Anna Marie Hahn was put to death on December 7th,

1938 in the Ohio State Penitentiary


Oh, Anna Marie,

the Ohio grass was green

the trees were

green has died

in your winter

                                    lightning strikes fork on

                        your temple tremors these Shawshank cornerstones

                                    fall to dirt

                                                            shakes and groans in thirsting throats

with your haunted hands squeezing

                                                                        like poisoned arteries

                                                            in mazy hallways the Union soldiers drink gin


                                                                                                pull on slots make them sing

                                                of lonely men breaking skulls off cell bars you watched

                                                            them squirm in old skin

                                                                        crinkling like fat globs of silver coins

Oh, Anna Marie

you incurve my sunken back

with your fist, blacker


than pupil spots—you stir

the kettle is warm with the philter

                                                            your brew

I have indulged in death meets me

                                    on you

I have kissed

the pillow shivers

I’m sweating for you I’m turning


in my rind the blood curdles the toxins


on your tongue I touch my own

Oh, Anna Marie



I have no noose, nettle,

or scruple—I swallow


the obol chatters in my gums


I taste the gold

hair falling from your scalp

                                    crosses out my eyes

Oh, Circe


                                    Oh, blackening

                                                            Oh, goddess I am dead

                                                                                                and you did it merrily

                                                            danse macabre

                                                                        dancing bones in puddles of tar

                                                                                                            I’m sinking

                                                I sniff the cup

                        wearily I gulp it down

                                                                                    ordinarily I don’t do this

                                                            on the first date you drowned

                                                                                                me in myself I see you black mist

                                                                                    Oh, Anna Marie


                                    black flag black sea I engorge

on the sip

                                                            at the tip of the glass I toast to you

                                                                        Death! Death! is a pretty

                                                face me do your worst

                                                                        of all you never cry

                                                                                    you smile all the way

                        to the bank

                                    in the chair you twist

                                                            you crackle

                                                                        as fire fills my chest I see you squarely

                                                                                    you are beautiful you are still

                                                and your soul is bruised

About the Author

Dom Fonce

Dom Fonce is a poet from Youngstown, Ohio. He is the author of Here, We Bury the Hearts (Finishing Line Press, 2019). He is the Editor-in-Chief of Volney Road Review. His poetry has been published in the Tishman Review, Obra/Artifact, Burning House Press, Black Rabbit Quarterly, Italian Americana, 3Elements Review, Junto Magazine, America’s Best Emerging Poets 2018: Midwest Region, and elsewhere.