but in malice, the brambles
that i’m tied to:
dauntlessness prevails,
action, cardinal,
they always say i’m bitter.


The whole thing, I mean the whole robbery took, less than twenty minutes. By the time I got up the steps, my adrenaline had taken over. It was a heater: two in fact, on either side of the couple. Their bed placed near the window like mine, I mean, it could have been me. I could have been named Martha and aged gracefully with a husband who cared about my comfort enough to wrap me with the extra throw knowing it can’t fit the whole bed. I could have been Martha squabbling over defrosting meat and key placement and leaving the toilet seat up but I’m so caustic. Rabid, I am walking to the one nearest to me and I am picking it up without turning it off and I am backing out the door, wathcing them. Asleep on their backs in some kind of bliss. Well, they are warm I think. Where I have rested anxiously, uncomfortable, wrapped in cat, they have been dreaming of a tomorrow when the streetlights come on. They have one heater and that is enough. I am bitter, sort of hopping faster down the steps, having memorized the route up. Cautious but faster, I head back to the island and open the first drawer.
“Oh,” I accidentally let out.
I click the button on top of the heater so as not to waste it and pray it doesn’t make any announcement as it is being turned off. My eyes have adjusted. I see 24 batteries, car keys, scissors, rubber bands and miscellaneous. I grab a few rubber bands and tuck them into my pocket. I am moving slower now, holding the heater but drooling. My index finger traces the battery pack to look for the opening. Sneer. That’s how to describe what this would look like if anyone flashed a spotlight in my face. The corner is ripped. I one by one pull out six, place them in my pocket. And then, I surprise myself. I take the car keys too.
Their license plate read BGG- 1222 and I remember it because it would have been perfect it had said 2222. But 1222 is not correct. It should have been 2222. So I remembered the error on the red sedan. I am not sorry for anything.

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