The first time that you killed, killed something fully, something whole, you were in your thirties. You were driving, driving to a house outside the city. You had been hunting and you were almost done. First you hit it with your headlights, then with your full vehicle. You drove a truck. You were weaving as fast as tropes of speech, as quick as intuition, curving through leafless trees at midnight. You were cutting around a corner and gripping the shoulder of the road, and the doe stood there waiting to be killed, though not on impact. Your punched your horn, and then you stopped your truck, another deer strapped to its exterior. Which is to say, the doe stopped you. You saw the stricken body was alive, though still, and slowly bleeding on the roadside, beneath your headlights, its blue tongue slowly thrusting, its doe eye softly glowing, gazing back, its entrails in full view. They felt glove-like to the touch.
Next day you put down the cadmium. You broke open a carton of smokes and began to write about the models. You named them, every one. You wrote until day had become stillest night and the moon had peaked over the boles of the trees and flooded the clearing with a blue light of the hue that brings to mind the lakes and seas captured in museum pieces, the pains of childhood spent living in a land of leafless trees, trees that would not leave the heart untouched for their bleakness, for their jagged persistence as the darkest fingers ever pointed at the stars. Such light flooded from the moon, and filtered through your room, and flickered through the smoke of cigarettes quivering between your lips, as you sat writing. The models you had seen. The dapple of paint on their faces at they sat there sitting, or waiting to be paid. All the sweaty vices you discovered, all the petty crimes you perpetrated on your spread of rags, together. For they were numbered, every one of them, just as was each separate print.
“Game,” The Collagist, Issue 49, August 2013