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a dull brown glass vial looks so innocent to me.
I cannot say the same
about the pale, calloused hand of the Man who holds it.
My eyes dart around this frozen drab room a prison of sorts.
It makes my heart shiver.
searching for an escape:
a clever solution to save me.
“A simple choice,”
the Man murmurs scratching his beard with those sallow fingers.
I look at the boy next to me,
the one whose fingers are fitted between mine.
His eyes are glued to the poison
refusing to meet my gaze
and his forehead creases in concentration.
the Man repeats,
though it is no longer a murmur.
He gets up and slips to the door with a final glance at the two of us and a key clicks in the lock.
One vial of poison
one vial of water
one supposedly simple decision.
The boy is clearly thinking
he can fix this,
crack our dilemma as if it is a puzzle.
But I know this puzzle is hopeless, I seize the poison
and push the water towards him.
His eyes finally pierce mine, a bitter smile,
the boy shakes his head.
He gently pulls the poison from my fingers, pours it in with the water
and they slowly diffuse.
He turns in his seat to face me,
draining half of his vial into mine,
curls my fingers around the chilled glass.
The boy clinks his vial with mine like we used to while playing house and dreaming of growing up.
He pulls my hand to his again, his lips quivering and the sweat pooling in his cupid’s bow.
He counts to "three"
we both bring the vials to our lips
and let the liquid slither down our throats.
His hand clutches mine tighter
and he finally lets his fear show in his eyes.
The Boy leans in close to whisper one last thing to me.