Milk And Honey
Milk and Honey
green eyes, Swan had always
favoured the dual-coloured iris
and number six had blue
spirals of iridescence like
perfect lakes of crystal.
she did earlier when
she agreed to go with this gallant man
deep into the hill and the mysric quiet
of midnight, past the broiling sands
of Colwyn Bay. But the stranger
she picked up in the dark was
not what he seemed: blind yes, but
deadly, so deadly,
as she found out
an hour later.
While driving down the seashell path
he requested to relieve himself
on the roadside,
however, once the engine
clicked its submission, the blind man beat
sweet green and blue eyes within an inch
of her life and as she gasped
through a cave of broken teeth,
he poured honey on her hair,
milk on her heaving
breasts and proceeded to suck
up the scent of
teet-juice and royal jelly,
relishing the scent
of fresh blood and hive smoke.
He then took his time with the rope,
hearing the crackling gurgles of her slowly
disintegrating windpipe. But
unconsciousness was not enough;
he brought her back to life,
choked her, choked her,
brought her back
again, again, again,
til her eyes were not blue nor green
but spheres lined with dark
red veins of thunder.
Slowly he stepped from the car, cautious in this
alien environment and
travelled by echoes into town.
Niall Swan had 9 kids,
all from one woman
but she had long since
suspected a sinister side and
fled first chance she got.
The beatings fuelled her departure
the cruelty her pace,
and her name was changed
variously til it was
as death itself.
But her ghosting failed to remove him;
he showed up within
days of her exit with
flowers, chocolate, a clenched fist and
a ripped up restraining order.
Upon her refusal he cracked her jaw
off the wall
to a symphony
of kid-screams and tears. The neighbours rang
the police and soon he vanished.
But that was thirteen years ago.
Now his youngest offspring
was old enough to make up
his own mind and so
Swan travelled easterly
toward the wasp that stung him,
turned him traitor,
took his kids.
But soon he'd have them back
and he always had his sport,
to keep things
lively on the journey
number three had drawn
too much attention
This way the hunt was fluid,
always on the move,
milk and honey
by his side
and a long good road before him.
Swan and the little green man
had so much fun at the traffic-lights,
It's amazing when you have a cane
and a fast-lane to feast on.
Not much of a hunt but
amusing none the less.
He bought a glass bottle of milk
and a jar of honey, grinning to himself
at the brazen condescension
wrongfully perceived ineptitude
then sat on a bench feeding
spirits of pigeons til
he smelled prey,
that gorgeous gore,
that paining perfume,
she was a good one.
He could tell by the click of her heels;
casual, composed. The unperturbed
slink of an artist. He thought,
my sweetheart doesn't rush.
He skulked behind her, waving his cane across
the concrete, this
discreet man, sweet because he's blind, wouldn't
hurt a fly.
He caught up to her just as she pressed the button,
could hear, sense, feel the rampage of vans,
trucks, fuck it,
even a bike.
Wouldn't that be funny?
To kill a woman with a pushbike?
He took from his pocket a bottle
of milk, uncapped it and squirted
honey from the jar and drank, feeling how curious
his sweetheart was, the searing stare at this strange
Swan was sure she
was about to speak but
she never had the chance.
When a truck of ample savagery,
that is to say,
the right vibration
(sure isn't everything just vibration?)
came caroming along
he judged, terrifically, the time:
he leaned, cane creeping
between her feet,
'Excuse me,' he said, she turned, he nudged gently,
so, so gently,
he might not have nudged at all
if someone were to see,
like the driver.
She tripped on the sneaky oak,
and her head still looked
confused as it was crushed under
the weight of tons of steel.
Swan found the sound oddly satisfying,
like squeezing a closed palmful of crisps,
glass shards in a steel weed-grinder.
And he was barely questioned by police.
They didn't have much use for an ear-witness
When Swan was little he liked this girl,
but she was normal and he was not,
everyone in school and on the street
teachers and carers included,
but she was a nice girl and she gave him
the time of day
despite ridicule, but
when she caught him attempting
to gauge out
the sweet little black eyes
of her pet gerbil the jig
Yet he persisted.
He had never heard of hard-to-get;
he was eleven.
The day after the failed gauging incident
he showed up to class with a gift:
the rarest of gerbils, arctic white
His classmates became deranged
at the sight of the dead animal,
and a surpsing many
would be left with scarred memories
Even the teacher cried later
as she washed off the tippex.
During his suspension he stalked the little girl
as if born to do so
and was surprised, even at that age, at how crazy-
easy it was to learn
everything about someone.
But she knew, she told,
and the belt, the belt never ended,
the mixed screams of anger and
encouragement from his father
'never take no for an answer!'
'We don't get caught in this family!'
And on and on,
again, again, again...
The very next morning on his way to school
through the back field by Brannons, he went off his usual route
(he never knew why)
and spotted there across a sea of sunflowers
a grim play.
She had stumbled upon a hive and was hysteric,
screaming for help, running in circles,
Swan stepped forward, stopped, considered,
waited as he watched.
He even sat down, it took so long.
Of course, he knew she was allergic;
the whole class was informed from day one
in case of an emergency. Well,
Swan intended to use
this emergency to his advantage.
When she finally fell to the ground he rose
slinked across the sunlit grass and scatter
of flowers, their ratios golden, til he stood over her
and thought and thought and thought
and bent down breathing heavy, shallow breaths,
wishing her eyes were open, wishing as he kissed her,
placed his shaking hands around her throat,
wondering why he couldn't feel the stings of the wasps
as they tried to defend their prey
and soon she stopped moving. He stood, looking,
for a long time, til he could feel the stings.
It was nearly Christmas so why not?
He looked for days in vain for
just the right one.
Right height, correct texture...easy to use...
and then once he'd found the perfect camera he could
begin the real work.
He had never in his life took his time.
There was always a witness stumbling
too closely causing
But this Christmas would be different.
He had bought everything but the camera:
milk, honey, rope, bottle-openers,
So he was ready.
He had reached London and set up
surveillance on his family. But
while he was waiting
til he had gathered
there was nothing to say
he had to be celibate,
And on the third day he located
a prime target.
There he was in Primark,
feeling shoes with his fingers, but all his senses
they took in the world. As if ALL was new.
And his brain made sure his tools
and plan were in order.
So he charmed, post-hypnotically, a girl,
a blonde queen with green glass
for eyes, a crunching gaze, and
in her curls. She was messianic in her
low cut tunic and come fuck me grin.
He told her he was blind, this poor sweet man
and she offered to drive him home.
Mere hours later she was down but
not done, splayed legs in the rusted
contraption like a sex-swing, she
cried her protestations but it
only furthered his sadism.
This went on for weeks until
he required a fresh specimen.
So he beat her to death with his bare hands.
Performed his ritual: poured the warm honey,
drank the cold milk and
dropped the body on the road at night,
to let everyone know.
And off he clicked into town.
It was the day of the reunion and he
wore his best suit. Bought new shoes,
gelled his hair, hid the hate like
a concealed weapon in his head.
But first he needed to see
how his family had flowered
in his absense. He knew
his eldest daughter was
in college, its the only one of
his children he had
yet to identify so
he climbed the fence feeling
his surroundings with his
exemplary senses til
he heard many anguished voices,
one he recognised as his wife's,
She was saying, between sobs,
'They're saying its a serial killer,
milk and honey something, oh God,
how could you do such a thing?'
The blind man edged backward,
smelling the scent of fresh cut grass.
Well, a reunion was guaranteed now, wasn't it?
He could use the tragedy to his advantage.
Sometimes the universe looked after
what were the odds? he thought to himself,