You keep your mask on
as you drip with red ink inside.
Dizzy and submerged in another blood bath.

Your mind is filled with contrast
dye       hidden in the bedroom
of a contaminated installation.

A dying snapdragon head
space       swamped with shimmering apparitions
that will never fit into anyone's home (not even your own).

A glimmer of your hair hangs down
lightly from a dying petal
like a dehumanized ornament hook.

I was the one who found them.
I pushed and the door gave in.
I saw parts of the girl
in the stagnant water.
Pale pink, bits and snips.
Was it decomposition?
Did he maul her that much?
I didn't come close.
More investigation not needed.

Thus the girl was in pieces
and he was… Any reason
for such extra measure of pain?
Fake repentance? Is it why
he killed himself?

Now he lies in the corner
where twilight becomes dark.
His shape massive and quiet.
His face (what is left of it)
turned away
eyes shut or wide open
on the sunken secret we share.

[Previously published in Scryptic Magazine.]

Juliet Cook
Toti O'Brien