Issue 7 Tana

Patti Tana

The Executioner Wore Gloves

After she locked the dog in the house
she put on her gloves and reached for the spray.
Hornets had built a nest on the side of the house
where she and the dog had to walk.

Sure, she told herself, she was doing it
to protect herself and the dog
who’d jump at anything that moved,
bite a bee out of the air & swallow it.
Still, she had no taste for killing,
would have left them alone
if they weren’t a threat.

No breeze seemed to stir
but the poison blew back in her face.
Though she tried to hold her breath
till she ran in the house, death
clings to her gloves, her throat, her lungs,
keeps coming up in her spit
as she writes this apology.