“Paul’s Case”

He dabbed a sprig of liquid lavender on one wrist.

Then the other.

His mirror gawked at him,

at her,

struck blind by such brazen behavior.

The crystal bottle shook as his hands did,

which made replacing the cap difficult.

His father didn’t know.

His father didn’t know about the silk scarves stuffed into a small slit in the upstairs mattress. His father didn’t know about the trips to the theatre district, and the lace costumes¬†she had tried on.

Was there no mercy? No understanding?

Of course not,

this was a man’s world.