January 2005 / Volume VI / Issue I
Willie Smith


    Darned my socks, dammed the pots and pans. Tinkered around the garage. Puttered into the kitchen. Fixed a stew. Vomited into the sink. Shit in the wastebasket.
    Beheaded the doorknob with an icepick. Pumped the shotgun with buckshot. Went out front, mowed down the lawn. Emptied the garbage on top of the slaughter. Dumped the handful of rats arsenic finally took to a better life in the empty can.
    Raised the can up high overhead. Crashed it down like the Great Depression.
    Out flew rats, bounced off the apple tree, ricocheted over the swingset like stiff acolytes grinning.
    I dented the galvanized can, till it took an edge keen as a guillotine. Chopped off rat heads, teased out teeth. Scratched across the walls outside how deliberate a butcher I demanded being known to be.
    Then hungrily hung myself from the apple tree; but the limb snapped, and I fell choking on top of smashed grass and beheaded rats, and continued to die the life of a working stiff one more week.