Their offspring asleep, the dishes put away: everything is prepared. All that remains is ritual. Note how the male stands by the kitchen window nibbling a cookie, staring absently across the street. The female waits propped on the cushions of the couch, bathing in the neon glow of the television. What’s this? The male has brought her a glass of wine; an offering perhaps, or a token of something more? He knows all too well: the window of opportunity is a small one—every detail must be just so. He reaches to caress her shoulder, puts on his most handsome smile—she is unimpressed. She looks away still holding the wine, he makes a hasty retreat. Dreams of decapitation will have to wait for another day.
Jared Beloff is a teacher and poet who lives in Queens, NY with his wife and two daughters. You can find his work in Contrary Magazine, The Westchester Review, Gyroscope Review and elsewhere. You can find him online at www.jaredbeloff.com. Follow him on twitter @read_instead.