Salt Lake

As she was dying he sat down across from her and told her about the other woman he’d killed. It wasn’t a matter-of-fact story, the way he told it, but he wasn’t excited about it either. It was as though he was remembering something he’d cared a lot about at the time but couldn’t quite recall why. The story came out in one long piece that was almost friendly, as though he was inviting her to laugh at it with him, or offering it to her to prove how much closer they were than he’d been with that other woman. She tried to interrupt him once or twice but she didn’t have the energy to speak above a sleepy whisper. Oh, she’d sigh, lips fluttering like the edges of her wound, and roll her head toward him, but that was all. He dabbled one hand in the water as he spoke, watching the blood swirl around his fingers and reaching across her to tap his cigarette against the ashtray by her head. She didn’t live to hear the end of his story, but he told it anyway, listening to the hollow intimacy of his voice bouncing off the tiled walls.