by Kate Compston

It happened quietly. Even the door
he went through each evening was understated.
Beneath it, a ruler of bluish light
measured its width. Mostly

nothing was heard. Perhaps the occasional
click. Once a voice, well modulated,
said, “This is obligatory.”
Then silence. Was it him speaking

or someone else? From outside, no other voice
was audible during the whole procedure.
We’re aware, now (too late), he broke them all
one by one. There was no coverage

at the time. Later a woman from nearby quarters
was questioned. She said: “That last night,
I heard a vixen bark repeatedly
like the wheeze of a dying man. It was very cold.”