The soft sound of snow crunching
underfoot gives me comfort.
Her building is at the end of the block.
She lives on the north side.
Bottom floor. Middle apartment.
I see her: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 steps.
Wrong key. Lock clicks. She drops her
coat and scarf in the entry and
kicks off those...vixen shoes.
She shuffles to the kitchen and pours
a glass of scotch. (I am inside)
She lights a cigarette and blows
the smoke over the match. (She doesn't notice)
The gray smog rises from her
lips like a cremation furnace.
The simple elegance of this quiet
moment is almost irresistible.
(But, I wait)
She slugs back the scotch,
finishes her smoke and ashes it
in the sink. She unties her hair
and enters the hallway, past the
childless bedroom with the empty
crib, past the altar coated in wax
like a wedding cake, and the tiny
packages of meat, dead flowers,
and baby's breath.
She enters the bathroom, where
she undresses. She sits on the
edge of the bath. Her naked body
folded in half, heavy tits hanging
like mushy stalactites over her
lap. (Oh, precious) She closes her
eyes and holds her head as if it
might float away.
For a moment, my thoughts drift
again, this time to the hammer
I am holding. The handle is
smooth as bone, the forged steel
head is heavy, and I feel powerful.
She reaches for the faucet
and I snap back to the moment.
Bubbles brim the edge of the
tub. Her fingers check the water
temperature and I am ready.
I move behind her. She doesn't
hear. I swing the hammer. She
doesn't see. I crack her skull.
She's in the tub. Face down. I am
drowning her, mashing her head
to the bottom, knifing the claw of
the hammer into her spine and
ribs over and over and over and
over and over and over and over
and over and....
Her body stops pretending to
care and surrenders as it is supposed
to. just to be sure, I press
hard, keeping her head beneath
the bloody water a few moments
more. Her neck snaps, her nose
breaks, and her face collapses
against the bottom of the tub. I
see my reflection in the mirror
and soapy foam has formed a half
smile over the black nylon mask I
I lean to her. The water glistens
like glass. I hover over the
surface, soft breath causing tiny
quakes, and whisper, "I have done
to you what nature has done to me."
She doesn't reply.
I stand and turn off the light.
The room is dark and empty.
Just like I am now.