A sour stench creeps from the corpse
on her living room floor;
skin grey and greasy like
wet cardboard, jellied eyeballs
staring at the ceiling.
When the smell becomes too much to bear
she scatters fresh supermarket flowers
on the rug where he fell,
daubs his cheeks with cheap rouge
and combs his blood-soaked hair.
He was her father,
her best friend –
all things always.
The one who filled her emptiness
and kept her deepest secrets safe.
She pries his stiffened finger from the trigger –
hides the cold, black steel
behind expired olives
and dusty cans of cannellini beans.
The final touch: a Picasso print,
just the right size for the blood-spattered wall.
Satisfied, she kicks out the recliner
and turns on MasterChef.
R. P. Burley