Blood Work

Unexpected company
comes and lasts
like Caesar's tariffs.
He almost has her shooed
back through the door
with vagabond hands
and silverdipped alibis
when she makes way
past the frame
to pick up her son's pistol.
There isn't time to scold
and she tenses under pressure
so he plants his perch
crossing fingers and toes
in a perversion of faith
outside the cathedral.

"This is heavy," she declares
lifting the chrome six-shooter
from a marble-topped table
he'd bought from a local junk merchant.

"Stainless," he says, ready to swoop
should her thumb get ambitious
and head for the hammer.

"Is it loaded?"
Her face turns gray
the jovial smirk reneged
as the whites of her eyes grow.

"What good would it be
if it wasn't?" he explains
considering confession
to crimes uncommitted.

The .45 back on his furniture
her hand reaches now
for the brass knob instead.
"See you next week," she says
as his mind drifts to red meds
and comatose slatterns.

It matters not to some
if those who must suffer
suffer less
but a gentleman expects
to kill cleanly.

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