Invitation to Death by Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
A coloursless, odourless gas, a drifting, a numbing as with
snow but without the cold, an easeful death. Half in love with it.
No, not that, not love, but what’s left of it, the traces. As from
red wine, the tannins.
You wake in the middle of the night, the bed a carousel,
the first alert alarm sounding. You go to the window, but it is
sealed shut, the ice of November, December and January. You
try another window and another. You get out the WD-40 but
you can only spray the inside of the frame. Now you have the
chemical smell, the oily film on your fingers, but no fresh air.
You go to the front door and breathe briefly through the mail
slot. The night air a missive, the night air an unsolicited letter
from him, a postcard from some exotic place on the other side of
the world where you’ve never been. You’ll never be. Be again
Your lungs test the air, a polar bath. A bathos. You step
back, secure the slot. Let nothing from him ever push its way
through to you again. You go back upstairs because you are tired
of interruptions and no other form of sleep could be long or