rate me

<b>BABY'S BREATH</b> by <i>Otep</i><br />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

am wearing

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.

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