By Lauri Jean Crowe
March 3, 1997
Ive spent the last hour fielding calls from factory workers in ditches, seeing how thin I can slice a granny smith apple with my dragon egg blade, wondering why more people dont make use of the cyanide in apple seeds.
Meanwhile, renditions of Beethoven float through the dust clotted air, ice forms on the window screens.
There has been a dead mouse for well beyond weeks across the street from where I work. Each evening I pass it as the sun begins to set, have watched the progression of its slow, torturous decay. Tortuous because I know others are watching it as well. You see, in these weeks it has not moved. Its frail boned body has remained fixed to the concrete walk, arms and legs curled, but for one right forepaw just above its tiny head.
It died on its right side.
When I first saw it, must have been a fresh kill, red blood still flowing from intestines that ran out ahead of its stomache. The whiskers still perked toward the sky. In these weeks Ive watched it as sun dries, erodes its flesh. As white bones begin poking out of flattened neck and belly. As the cheeks became sunken until teeth poked through the hollow walls and as the rain puffed it out lifelike again.
These city streets see busy feet, in heels, business shoes, the sneakers of small children. They beat on the concrete in a cavalcade of sound around the quaking dead flesh of the mouse, though none step upon it.
They simply watch.
Before that hour spent with knives, seeds of death and ditches, I went out to my car. The mouse was still there, silent, eyes long fried open and sightless. Beneath two inches of ice. I thought of wooly mammoths and you.
Although part of this is fictive, it was a letter I originally wrote to the man who is now my husband. Love letters come in all forms.
Lauri Jean Crowe is a freelance writer known for such diverse topics as dreams, sexuality, gardening, health and parenting. She is a freelance writer, artist and designer living in Michigan, USA.