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IMPACT

By C Heyne


THE STATE REMINDS ME IT IS THE FINAL DAY TO SUBMIT A VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT from IMPACT (UNABRIDGED) & when writing the VIS, one must not think about the lack of time given to write it. time is a motherfucker and an affair of capitalism. TIME IS A MOTHERFUCKER and the antagonist of all my writing. FATHER TIME IS A DEADBEAT who left us all for his secretary, who ripped the family ties, who danced on the grave of HOPE, my mother I miss. & what then should the, particularly uninspired, victim do? what a privilege it was to take a day away from writing, or better yet, set a time in which I would write every other day. the routine, a coffee (or two), books of inspirit. somedays, the rain an inspiration – others a day off; I was a lenient boss. one that scoffed in the face of profit over people, one who would ask softly to hug me when I was overwhelmed, I had an abundance of hugs. now, I twitch at my brother’s embrace. & the body can fear. body fears sleep, fears bed, fears sauna, fears men, fears night walks, fears days strolls, fears public restrooms, fears the arm twitch in the elevator, the leg twitch in the subway, fears its reaction to fear, fears fear, fears fear of fearing fear of all fear AND OVERTHINKING FEAR. & Is the prosecutor forbidden any poetic license at all in his argument? asks conservative chief justice Rehnquist in Payne v Tennessee, 1991 – questioning if victim impact statements are cruel and unusual punishment (TO THE DEFENDANT) and if they are admissible in a court of law. they were determined not to be and are. & the implication of the victim impact statement comes from its ephemera. yes, it is considered that the mere existence of VISes necessitates an acute efficiency in its creative. yes, it is considered that THE STATE is an actor of capitalism and that THE STATE must receive payment and cannot afford the survivor a residency in writing their VIS. therefore, it is also considered that the allowance of an impact statement simultaneously empowers and encumbers a survivor of violence. it is considered (well, well, considered) that the statement should be written early, as details of its history (though namely not its impact) will be forgotten. the hand will be a duck. the crotch will be a stove. the heat will be a winter. everything will be tinted blue until it’s gray. until it’s a stomachache, a day is a bed. but beauty of language is a beauty of meditation, of refinement. the efficacy of a statement requires it not be impeded by distraction of the present, the play you saw a few days after, the lover that left before court began, the unresolved traumas, a revolving door of complications. so one must consider, how is an impact measured? how is it not a mosaic? how is it obtainable or ever fully stated?



THE STATE REQUESTS A VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT from IMPACT (UNABRIDGED) while I’m compacting my thoughts as a jug filled with wine both plain and magic


my lover texts what’s your fucking problem


and I say I don’t know and I wish

someone would tell me. wish to


know the bare falsehoods I’m fed


on silver, to know why a stranger’s

perversion cannot be contained, to know


why the detective of THE STATE

felt so comfortable calling me one of his victims when referring to a conversation he had about me with his wife

to know how to write the impact, to know

how to tell my brother I’m working on things


and mean it, to know what parts of me are plain


which are enchanted


C. Heyne (any/all) is a genderqueer writer from Sunrise, Florida, and resides in Hoboken, NJ. C is the recipient of the William Morgan Poetry Award and has work featured or forthcoming in Sundog Lit, DreamPOP, Identity Theory, and Boats Against The Current, amongst others. Their chapbook "my room (and other wombs)" is forthcoming (Bullshit Lit, 2023).



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