Spelling B****

I hear S’s and H’s
I’s and T’s
I hear them under every thank you
Beneath every please
I hear I’s and D’s
And IOTs
Hidden in the murmur
Behind every tease
I hear the B, the I
And in them, everything
About myself I hate
I hear the things you tell yourself
And the things you think of me
You believe I have a child’s ear
But I am not deaf to these

Asylum Visit

“Visitor for you, Abigail.” Called in a female voice — one of a blur of now-familiar voices — as a man, far less familiar, dressed in dark jeans and a leather jacket, stepped into the room.

Abigail shifted in her seat to give him a quick scan, then turned back towards the window that was opposite the door. “Fuck off,” she said.

“Oh lovely, her first words today. Sorry detective, I did tell you this was one of her off days,” the familiar woman said, still standing just outside the door.

“You can fuck off too, lady,” was the biting remark from the young woman in the room.

“That’s alright,” said the man, ignoring Abigail for the moment. “Do you think I could have a few minutes alone with her?”

“Go ahead, she’s usually tame enough — that nasty bit of business that got her put in here notwithstanding. Do watch yourself though. I’ll be right outside.” And the woman shut the door.

It was a square room — or at least, square enough, by Abigail’s estimation — with the door near one corner, a bed in the opposite one, and in the middle was a small table with two chairs, one on either side, facing towards the window in the middle of the wall.

Abigail was in the seat closer to the door. The newcomer set himself down in the other one.

He sat quietly for a moment. Finally, he asked her, “Do you know why I’m here?”

“Dude, I have no earthly idea,” she said with a wave of her hand and some irritation. “Do you know they won’t even let reporters in to see me now? It’s so boring. But then, the reporters were probably getting bored too, anyway,” she reflected.

“True; these days, there’s hardly any mention of you. Newer and more exciting crimes to write about, and all that. But tell me something, Abigail: What does it feel like to kill?”

She scoffed. “Why, making any plans?”

“No,” he said somberly. “That’s not why I’m asking. See, I’ve had to take life in the past. I know the feeling. I want to know if you do.”

She gave him a long look in the eye. Then she shrugged and sighed, her gaze drifting back towards the window.

“It was kind of cool, you know?” She began after a moment, growing animated. “Like, here was a person, with all these years, and all these lives they’d touched, and then in a moment, it was gone. All those years, and then in one second, you ended it. Watching that light suddenly flicker out in their eyes, it makes you feel kind of powerful. But then…” here Abigail became contemplative. “Then, it was kind of like standing in an ocean. Like, you had your feet in the sand, you were getting used to the rhythm of the waves, everything is fine. But then this big one comes, and it pulls you in, and suddenly, your feet are out from under you. You don’t even know which way is up, and there’s this… feeling. This sinking feeling, where you realize, you’re drowning.”

“An interesting description… But, there’s a problem with that, Abigail.”

“Oh, really?” She snapped, coming out of her musing. “And what’s that?”

“Well, you see, I’m not really a detective,” he said, leaning towards her. “And I know you’ve never killed.”

She began to mouth the words in confusion, until the realization dawned across her face. “Oh…” She whispered. “Shit.”


I’ve been coaxed and badgered,
Until I say it at last;
And when I do, you think it’s new,
And throw your head back to laugh.

You don’t know I’ve said it all in silence;
That every other word I think
Is something rooted deep in violence
That I only rarely ever dare to speak.

I’ve lost the belief that it matters,
And I’m afraid that I won’t get it back.
So what to do? It’s nothing new;
And my soul I feel is growing black.

I could curse back all the curses;
I could claim that I am free,
And that all those bitter words
Hold no meaning with me.

The truth is something different,
Which my mother would be vexed to know;
But some things are still bullshit
Even when pretending that it isn’t so.