It was in winter, dawn took on
electric and the flash of ballistic reckoning.
Meant the innocent no harm, he was sure, as much
as any man in his stead could've managed.
The plan ended here, now was when
he should've initialed his high score and let the credits role.
He'd put in hard work with fire, Prometheus tripping.
He'd danced a zen masterpiece:
1) Hook the buyer;
2) Fence the goods;
3) Make a call to a bent, broken cop;
4) Recover the contraband;
5) Spread the evidence and pocket the profit.
A bettor might've set ten to one odds on those five steps—
an uninspired tango with chance. So nobody's interested now
as he flees the sun in Icarus fashion,
gravity gone sideways along alleyways and underpasses.
His bootsteps stomp the tempo of panic:
Prestissimo, with gunshots noted in mezzo staccato.
His footprints show in crushed snowflakes. Each unique.
Each would've met its end sooner/later anyway—
he gloves his hands in truism.
Excuses aren't known for their insulating qualities
when wet. For example, he shivers from fingernail to brainstem
as his hands thrust through slush to catch his fall.
A cracked wrist, broken ribs, bullet-torn calf muscle. He's bitten off
a juicy piece of tonguetip. Amphetamine-tainted bloodflow turns his prayers to drivel.
Minerva stands silent, a silhouette haloed by sunrise in neon.
She's shed transcendence to attend to this mortal matter
personally. Her hair spills cerulean from a kawaii-style owl cap.
Her overcoat is sterile white (his stinks of sweat).
Her snowpants show woven spiderwebs (his are piss-stained).
They say she spreads herself between packets.
They say her loom lies in international waters.
While most find haven between her threads of network,
he has offended her. How exactly, he'll never know.
Her pistol extends with exquisite attention to the small things.
Lines, curves, rivets, scratches, logos, burn marks.
So pale it nears translucence, her finger
tenses over the stud, waiting for the impulse of an action potential.
He cannot turn his eyes from death. Her face lies beyond view.
Still the words hover there in a mist of frosted breath.
"Desine fata deum flecti sperare precando."
His character has reached the end of its story arc.
Thanks go to golFUR and etouffee for editing and etouffee for suggesting this node title.
"Desine fata deum flecti sperare precando" translates to "Cease to hope you will change the will of the gods by praying," a quote from Vergil. See the node for details.