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the small, dead mouse

by Marjorie Wisler

All the time I was

suffocating mortal mice to

spare their destined demise by way of

        under-bellies held fast to

        a tray of some chemical

        securing agent.

I would watch their breath quicken

        carefully sealed plastic-wrap transforming to a

        one-dimensional kaleidoscope of

        condensation with each

        fervent exhalation.

Labored vocalizations and with

eyeballs popping from adhered sockets

they would die calmly and

        quietly while through a reflective film I

        caressed and

        calmed them.

The last died differently, and,

        altered he was to a

        black labyrinth, a

        breeding ground.

When I saw his

hollowed corpse, once

        stuck fast to

        my Grandmother’s golden wood floor, I

        started with surprise before

kneeling with sadistic curiosity. I

cannot escape from my mind the sight of that

        frozen cadaver, last moments

        rendered temporarily in a hairy, flattened

        carbon cast.


A cold intake swelled as I

lifted the chip half-mast to find wrinkled black

        open craters ejecting

        pearlescent crescents noisily

        flipping to the golden wood floor below,

        becoming one

writhing cluster of transportive larvae.

        The communal jostle had sent his

        solidified casing from hiding

        to the

exposing electric lights and the peripheral of

my photographic eyes, now calmly

        popping from intact

        Unsecured sockets.

About the Author

Marjorie Wisler is a musician, teacher, and writer from the MidWest.

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