part 9: scorpio rising

She rises late from bed, lidded irises chased by shadow. It is a little after 5PM.

You listen to hot needles rain down on her skin. From your stool in the kitchen. The sound of water hissing. Gurgling.

A spider walks over the simple meal you prepared for her while she was sleeping. You lift it on a fork. Conscious she will only pick at it, the smell and texture of cooked meat seems to repel her. She has no appetite.

You listen to her step out the shower and bind her head in a towel. You know her routine. She shaves her armpits with her husband\’s razor – your razor – you have not used it since the cuffs went on. She does not trouble her secret hairs but proceeds directly to her legs. Ankles. Calves. From there to the hall, the master bedroom.

Your son\’s bottle stands in a striped ceramic bowl. Near the open window which channels every whisper.

She enters the kitchen and lights a cigarette. Her back speaks to you so eloquently. The black strap of her bra unclasped, the damp coil of hair not quite aligned with her spine.

If there is anything left unsaid, neither of you can find the words.

The nurse\’s tunic hangs on the radiator where you have left it to dry.

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Hello. I am still breathing, if you wondered at this latest absence. I needed to step back from the drop awhile, the empty space between the rails, to let the game play out. It has not been pretty for