We collapse on the floor, against the wall with the big broken window in it. You run your inside palm heavily along the side of the frame, forcing loose wood splinters to catch and bite into your skin. I watch you accrue varying sized splinters into your hand, a sound resembling morning crickets made each time one pierces your skin. You never once flinch or stop looking at me while you do this. I make a fuck-off sound with the back of my throat and look around our burned and ransacked enviornment. Four days ago we had staked out this little isolated bedroom. One of three other rooms on the top floor of an abandoned housing tenemant, it was the only one rats and red ants wouldn't come into at night. I had told you that there was still enough money in my checking account to do this in a shitty twenty-four hour motel at least, but you refused. Even now, you refused any of my handouts. Outside, the street lamps begin to turn on, providing broken yellow light into our space. So this is us, sitting silent in this fucking shit hole, waiting for you to die. I don't know if I'm here because you love me or if I was the only one qualified to apply a morphine drip of overdosed fatality. Maybe I was the only one who said yes to helping you. I don't care so much right now. I'll sort you out later when you're dead and I'm alone. You've taken to pulling out the splinters and laying them in a group, like piling matchsticks. I can hear your breathing irregulate into short spans of deep inhalation, then quick half second beats. Then nothing. I cover you up with the blanket I brought, leave your letter next to the splinter pile and climb back out to the fire escape. Housing police will follow the stench and find you in six days. The on site investigator will read your note. And she will understand. She will follow up on that address you wrote down and arrive at your step-father's house. Police will arrest him and search the basement. They will break open the locked door under the staircase and confiscate the twelve mirrors as evidence for his yet-to-be decided trial. Maybe I'll still go to heaven after all of this. Probably not, though. I don't care much, either way.

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