your love's the killing kind

Six hundred paper dolls from six hundred yarn nooses. Red yarn, stained in a pot with stewing beets.

On each paper scrap was a note and at the end of each note, a name. The same name, six hundred times.

One paper was blue, the color of antifreeze. Another , predictably, blood. The first scrap was a wrinkled, brittle piece scrawled over with washed-out lettering, illegible due to water-bloat. The one after it was a blown-glass vial full of soft ash. Not a paper doll, but it meant the same thing. Fragility.

A the end of the red line, a blue thread swooped down to wrap around the crushed mothwing neck of an ancient, sleeping woman.