The Trick Is To Keep Breathing


She tucked a hallelujah inside her dress
Just in case.
It’s best to be armed
When going into the belly of the beast.

She arrives wearing a red dress.
Her neckline isn’t necessarily plunging
But it is definitely on the edge of making that leap.
She’s also rockin’ a pearl necklace with matching earrings.
She means business, and yes, it’s quite personal.
She knocks and stands in his doorway; he opens the door surprised.
Just look at him: head shaved, eyes that could talk the sun into taking a nap.
A smile that ought to be registered as a deadly weapon.
She brushes past him, eyes darting about looking for hiding places.
He starts to speak, she interrupts before a syllable could leave his forked tongue.

I’m. Taking. It. Back.

It’s been some time since he laid eyes on her.
Memories return like one of Dipuc’s boomerangs.
He remembers her, their time together, and where he hid it.
“Look ________, I…”
Before he could continue, she turns and squares off.
This is what all that planning and credit card debt has come to.
It’s now or never, if he speaks, it’s all over.

She takes out each pearl earring and throws them to the floor.
They flash bright like fireworks on a balmy July evening.
(It’s amazing what you can order off the Internet.)
He instinctively covers his eyes and steps back.
She then goes to work.

A solid punch right to the throat
Then a swift kick below the border and it’s over.
This punk falls to the floor.  Such a waste of humanity.
She takes off her pearl necklace
Which is really a sophisticated restraint tool in disguise.
And binds his hands behind his back.
As she flips him over, she straddles him.
Her left hand around his throat, her right hand slips into the front of her dress
Pulling out the hallelujah.
“How does it feel, _______?”
My hand around your throat, you being helpless to stop me.
I need to work through this, to let it be a part of my story.
And honestly, I will probably forgive you.
But today is not that day and this is all kinds of whatever.
And…he cuts her off and says to her
“Please ______, I’m sorry.  I did love…”
Her nails dig into his neck, he did not just try to say he loved…
She arches back, gripping the hallelujah with all her might
She plunges it straight into his heart.

He screams and bursts into ash and smoke.
She falls over and she sees, right in the middle of the soot
A jar full of butterflies.
She picks it up as she stands.
Walking toward the balcony, she smashes the jar in the open night air.
Butterflies, around 15 of them, fly free into the city landscape.
She smiles, it looks like Christmas for some reason.
Butterflies dancing in the night like twinkles of light.
She notices one butterfly on the balcony railing.
She gasps as it looks like…
She walks over, cupping her hands
As it beats it’s wings against her palms.
She drops down to her knees, tears finally unleashed.
“Welcome back erk erk erk erk…”

It’s 5:30 am and her alarm sounds like it’s actually mad right now.
She hits snooze and swears she won’t stay out that late again.
Nine more minutes ’til she has to start working on her sermon for Sunday.
Nine more minutes to let her subconscious work through…stuff.

As she tries to get back to sleep, little does she know
There is a butterfly hovering outside her window…



[Poem #20.  Image by ninasaurus rex via Flickr and a Creative Commons License.]






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