Death Rattle

He’d begun to defragment sounds so he could distinguish each single click of friction. His razor over morning stubble; if he could decelerate so that each hair was ticked off like the stubby little pins in a music box. The butter knife over toast; if he could smear each crumb one at a time. The metal drum on his cigarette lighter; how deliberately could he thumb it and still get a spark? He took the milk bottle from the fridge without a scrape. Could he insert the spoon in the sugar without the phlegm of a spade in shingle? Stir his tea without clinking the side of the mug? He could hear the scrub of her toothbrush and the static of her hairbrush. Her shuffling walk. He winced, his teeth on edge.
Steven John

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