Western University of Health Sciences


Res Judicata

Halley Egnew

COMP-Northwest student

Ownership—that is, jurisdiction.
That we all gather to remember the deceased.
That is—

jurust, from the Latin for “right,” dictio, “pronounce solemnly”
The amount in controversy—a life, a memory,

—Which holds more weight? Use Libra’s scales, consider the two.
Is it more than a feather? More than a right to truth?

More than hiking through red rocks? Three beads of sweat on a brow,
or three pearls lost in a velvet box—

Latin is the language of law, but also religion —
That, which we pronounce solemnly,
That, which we perpetuate,
That, which we sing as a counterclaim to death — gloria
That, which we insulate.

Public tears are the congregation’s jurisdiction;
Whereas, she says, stop crying—

Let empty o’s of lips echo,
and we solemnly pronounce that we don’t know
we have our fictions