the smuggler’s bible

Truly, the lord will test his timid creatures

Lugano catches a glimpse through his shutters. A flash, a rustle, nothing more. Auburn against the deep green of the lawn across the street. Maybe it wasn’t her. Maybe it was no one. Still, he vomits and rests his forehead against the cool tile on the bathroom floor.

The old feelings arrive again like a flock of birds, twisting and whirling in the thin gleam of dawn. She is a snakebite. She is a raptor on the wing. She is poison in a white balloon in his belly—harmless now, but god help him if the acid ever gets through.