He said “bruja” and she tended the kindling.
She heard love. He said women are sulfur, she offered
her teeth. He said itch, and you have good nails.
Said he was a forest fire. She heard ocean.
Heard troubadour. He said he could dance.
She purchased new shoes. He said pearl,
she prepared oysters. He said anchor, she bought a boat.
Said olive, she made of her arm a branch.
He said secret, she kept it. He said harlot, she spat.
Said hungry, she bought the bistro. He said tequila,
she gave him a grove of lime trees. The sea.
Said veal, she brought a field of pregnant cows.
He said loyal. She carved his name in her thigh.
Said open, she cut off her legs. Said kiss, she mailed her lips.
He said that one. And that one, too.
She delivered pipe bombs to their stoops. He said shank,
she carried the gaping bodies. He said she said
and though she never said it, she nodded.
He said Everything I’ve said to you is true. She knelt
at his feet. He said It is you who are the liar.
She put a shotgun in her mouth.
— Jeanann Verlee, “The Believer”
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