“The Facts of Life” by James A. Schmitz


Lucinda Quick shot her husband
In the head
Because he threw her dish of macaroni and cheese
At the kitchen wall
His mama's recipe
Burnt around the edges
A seven-year marriage turned to ashes
Nothing left so she lit a Camel
She lifted from a crumpled pack
Jammed into his shirt pocket--
Never mind the blood splattered on the package
Or the yellow noodles running down the wall
Just grab the keys left lying on the counter
Step over the body
Hop into the cab of his Chevy pick-up
And drive down the highway
While singing along with Vince and Tricia--
Don't bother about fake tears or plastic
Emotions she's supposed to feel but doesn't...

Tomorrow when she awakes in a
Town she's never been to
Memories of the night before
The cigarettes, beer, and shots of Tequila,
That other man—Bart, Larry, or Jake? —
Bad dreams like the annoying headache
She'll remember forever
Just as she can't forget
That unhappy childhood
Being scolded and browbeaten
By her long-dead mama and daddy
Who never understood
That hidden inside was a
Wild-eyed demon dancer
Raging to bust out into
The black of night
And run so far and fast she'd
Never come back