My wife’s blood is the color of raspberry jelly. When I shoot her in her eye it explodes in a mist from her face. I want to make peanut butter and raspberry jelly sandwiches for my lunch. My hands are covered in Kathy’s blood. I wash them with soap and water. I hum a song and remember when Father and I would catch trout during the summer. Mother would cook them along with wax beans and okra. When I was eleven Father told Mother I could shoot the eye out of a hummingbird. I finish packing my sandwiches and place them in a brown paper bag. I get in my car and set the sandwiches and my bag in the seat next to me. Mother is still sleeping when I use my key and enter her apartment. I shoot her in her eye just like Kathy. Blood sprays from her face. It is the color of the lipstick she wears when she entertains men. It’s more red than pink. I cover her with her bed sheet and kiss her forehead. The stain from the blood is a rose that soaks into the sheet. The stain is beautiful. By the time I make it to the bank tower it is still early morning. The birds are talking in loud voices. They are trying to settle some kind of dispute. I settle into my spot at the top of the tower wall and survey the courtyard below. People are starting their day. A mother with a baby stroller. A boy on a bike. Men in business suits. I’m not wearing my suit today. I’m wearing camouflage. Kathy ironed my outfit last night. She didn’t ask why. The birds scream at the sound of the bullets as I pull the trigger. The blood splatter from the people below look like tiny clouds. They are colors from my childhood. Strawberry lollipops. Watermelon slushes. I’m already hungry. I have four sandwiches packed. I shove the first sandwich in my mouth. It tastes like summer. I lick the jelly from my finger, put it back on the trigger. It’s a beautiful fucking day alright. The sun is out. The birds are shouting. Someone is screaming from below and it sounds just like singing.
Hillary Leftwich lives in Denver with her son. She is co-host for At the Inkwell Denver—a NYC based reading series, and organizes/hosts other reading events around Denver. Her writing can be found online and in print.