How To Be Murdered

1.The long way

First you stop in your tracks
talking earnestly to street cats
sunbathing on the rims of metal bins
and peel yourself clean
Sweeter without skins
you turn every box into a confession booth
and smile giddily at the indifferent stranger in the lift
You chortle at blank walls
follow the laughing dove’s
crazy hopping patterns
and clamber onto wet park benches
to watch parakeets lip lock
deaf to calls to get you back into line
Before you know it
someone gets infuriated
because you don’t seem upset any longer
The yoke seems to be slipping
off your capable shoulders
as you learn to pedal once more
your feet pulled up
from their stupor
by invisible helium balloons
He sees you about to break
the ‘not free to breathe’ contract
and to keep you safe
from the consequences of these unprecedented liberties
kills you

2. The short cut
When he stands before you
all male
commanding you to return to bed
you bargain for a minute after twelve
and in the space of an angry breath or two
write a poem about
“a lone nose hair
peeping out, quivering in the steam
from a reddening, dilated cave”
and hear the laptop smash against
the silence of the night
and splinter itself
into two


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