The bullet has caught me; it holds my eye like a hypnotist's gold watch. "Stare deep into my eyes," the bullet seems to insist.

The bullet that I myself once placed between her breasts is worn and smooth between us. I have re-discovered it again and again, in her clothes, in her hair, in her gym bag, on her clavicle, under my tongue, in a heap, by the edge of the sink.

I never said there would be no strings attached.

I look deep into her eyes. I see two black eyes of rot on a fallen wrinkled apple on the floor of an orchard at the end of a summer. I can taste the metal bullet in my teeth.

J.R. Carpenter