Brad,

What we know, that no one else knows, is the romance of the world of a killer. People say chivalry is dead, but I know it only wears a face they no longer care to look at; the face of the lowly, the unholy, and the bitterly forgotten.

Running like smoke through the ringing and newly-electrified Delta blues singers is the murderous loyalty that warms every Southern summer night to sweating, lynches little girls in the cool nightwoods, makes a good man forget himself, and drives him... pretty crazy.

There's no greater romance than that which is found in the twisted heart of an unrequited dockworker, drinking from a flask in the water-reflected light of the passing showboat he'll never be allowed on. See, she's in there.

She's in there, with her skirt around her ears, working for the living a man like you couldn't provide her.  It makes you believe in fate in the worst way; a cruel fate which will come to crush you someday, rabid dog to rabid dog. It makes you believe in the devil enough to attempt the sale of your diseased soul to him, the mossy bayou sticking your stinking shirt to your heaving chest.

When she dies, a man like you believes a passage to the underworld to retrieve her is not only possible, but the cross on which he will be nailed should he not attempt it. Do you believe in voodoo because you kill, or do you kill because you believe in voodoo?

Lightnin' would have you believe that love is all biology and blood. The smell of her rank and descending down the shaft of your cock, unwashed in the hellhole your father beat you in, her eyes closed in the afternoon, the long strings of her menstruation dripping hot slick across your thighs and rolling slow the distance of your ass, softens somehow the texture of her skin in your mouth. A killer is just a man who is prepared to do what all men talk of and can't find within themselves.

An acceptance that you'll never be enough, but you can show her how far you'd go to find that out.

This bayou is crawling with knights errant, all skinny white boys in their stained jeans and trucker caps, and you're their king and you will set the tree you tied her to on fire to resurrect the ghost of her perfume.

You're such a poet, Brad. And you're right. Love is all blood and guts.

A killer doesn't understand what's so hard about all this. You're my girl, and if you stop being my girl, I'll spread the viscera of you across the wilderness and live forever tortured by the loss of you. But that blood is mine, and won't cover the skin of another man. IS THAT SO FUCKING HARD?

Because it's all done in service of an idea that there is a perfection. There is a name that goes unsaid in your heart. There is a grave you will slit your wrists on. There is a woman, somewhere, in this horror, who is pure... of fucking... heart.

You laid next to me today and you asked me what I felt between us, and that's my answer.

When we were younger, we stood beside one another and talked about the dream of romance, you and John and I. And holding your hand these last few days, I can feel your pulse in your wrist, and the blood in your palms seeping around the pressure of my nails. I can see something like... where once I shared a passion with you, back to back, with blindfolds on, now I can look at you and see you as the subject of it.

The secret of this romance gets thick between us, all the blood and guts that Lightnin' promised it would be. You always had my blood and my bones, but now I feel it coursing into the body of a love we're making. I etched your name in my skin. I named my knife after you. I'll kill you if you leave me. If you lock the door, I'll shoot the lock off with a stolen shotgun from Clyde.

I saw you get drunk over me. I saw you crash your car. I saw you kill a girl when I made you angry. I saw you spray my perfume on your wife. I want to show you what I think poetry is.

If you stay, we could just sleep. But if you sleep somewhere else, you know what I'll do.

I love you.

 

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