The monkey’s paw is clenched in my fist. No, no, this isn’t what I wished for. The vengeful heart will get its due in pain. 

The poison you tempered in my breast perhaps has slipped in through your ear, perhaps when we are dead it will not matter who is snake and who is garden, who fain would sleep. Perhaps I choke back sobs, or the slashing of a knife. I slowly disassemble my body, tuck the iron shards into the beds of men who treat me with more kindness than you could maintain in the face of our mutual folly. 

I look down at the bowl of your face and want to smash my collarbone with a sledgehammer. I want to kick you in the fucking teeth for your insolence. My anger, my hot tears, solve nothing, and most days I have learned this. My life continues on without you, and I typically wish you well. 

I pity you. I pity you for both the suffering you cause, and the suffering you endure. This was not the revenge I wanted, this terror, this panicked observation of still-unfounded death. I wanted you to slowly become whole, happy, and utterly separate. To fall asleep, healthy and content, in the bed of your gentle wife, and rarely, when the moon is right, bolt up in the night, sweating and weeping, spitting your apologies to my absence. This drives you to be even more kind to those around you, more thankful for the generosity of time and human affection. 

This, this one potential truth, wriggling in your hands, this is all wrong.