1450 West Blackhawk – Peter Orner

Night. Alone. Glue trap.It is supposed to kill them more humanely. The guy at the hardware store said. But it doesn’t kill. It glues. He eeks in terror. All night. Stuck to a pad. All night I listen. Me in that gone room, in that gone bed, remembering things that probably never even happened, as now, here, I spend most of time silently lying to myself about things that no longer matter—and all night long—he screams. He still screams. He hasn’t stopped. Why him? I don’t know. I want it to be a him. As if being male will make him tougher as if I who refused to buy a normal trap that would break his neck clean and easy am not a coward. In the morning quiet. I think thanks God, dead. Let the pious ones truimph in glory: let them exult upon their beds. Hours, hours of screaming and then. In the kitchen, I kneel, lean in, try to hear its breath. Can you hear a mouse breathe? The terror gone. But the tiny stomach rises, falls, rises. It is now David raises the brick. He raises the brick and crushes. Chicago, 1995, alone, 1450 West Blackhawk. Last days of February.

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