When you watch films about the CIA
Or any tradecraft for that matter
You begin to act more precisely

You walk in the half dark
To the kitchen after midnight
The front porch light bright enough

Through the window
To see where you must place
Your empty cup of tea

On the draining board
You sense a little water
Three or four small drops

That could be blood if thicker
On your fingers
And you take the white piece of toweling

Stolen from your gym
But now used to do the dishes
And first dry your hand

Before hanging the square of material
Exactly in half over the silver handle
On the oven door

Which you notice reflects perfectly
Because a Guatemalan woman without papers
Came yesterday with her daughter

To clean the house
In the same way she does
Every other Thursday

She only speaks Spanish
You speak none
An oversight made previously

And one you feel only now
Is a marked weakness
As though of your essential character

You turn past the archway
From the kitchen into the living room
And then into the hallway

From where you see the blue light
Through the doorway of your wife’s office
But feel no need to confirm

That the alarm is on
Because you remember setting it earlier
Hearing the two short tones it makes when armed

And the way the robotic (woman’s) voice said
“Windows and doors: On”
Which somehow compensates for the fact

That at this moment you do not own
A Walther pistol of any caliber
As a result of a general repugnance

To the personal ownership of firearms
Which in this silent and comforting darkness
Feels like the confusingly effete position

Of a man who you suspect
Does not fully think for himself
But still what can be expected

Or ever done about civilians
And all of those who have no idea
What it is to get your hands dirty

In the unspoken name of freedom
And anyway guns while necessary
And at times useful are dangerous objects

To be avoided not because of their kill ratio
Or muzzle velocity but because they make noise
And leave traces which at this point

Would be simply unprofessional
When instead in that drawer
To the left side of the stove

Is a pizza cutter with a circular blade
And a handle that can be held
Like a knuckle-duster

And is as sharp as all hell
Sharp enough with one fluid motion
The unexpected left hand swinging upwards

Through the darkness
To slice any man’s throat open
Without leaving the chance for him

To call his mother’s name even quickly
You know how sharp it is
This stiff inanimate razor

Because just yesterday you cut your finger
Quite deeply while drying it
With a stolen towel similar to the one

That is now folded perfectly
And does not have
The small circle of bright red blood

That the first towel wears in its center
Screwed up somewhere
On the laundry room floor

Which could be used in evidence
For something or other as yet undetermined
And truthfully quite unlikely.

Time for bed.


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