In my kitchen I’m not supposed to be executioner. I have my meats butchered before I buy them.
But one meat, not yet cooked—the cat—scratched at the sliding door. Out, out, brief kitten: I opened the door just enough so she can slide on through.
And then it was back to the babe or something equally needy.
Meows from the door—the cat is back. Then come in, it’s open, cat, despite the cold air you’re letting in.
In she comes, finally, persuaded that the meat inside is better than whatever dead things inhabit the porch.
And I go to close the door because the cat can’t be bothered to do it herself.
And I heard something squish, maybe—just the tiniest sound above the crunch of the door shutting, another, more personal, crushing.
But I didn’t hear it and I went to wash my hands because it seemed I hadn’t done that recently enough.
When I returned to the window I saw there was another meat stuck in the crack between sliding door and sill: Pentatomidae—the one of the five. A stink bug.
The back of its carapace was stuck between pane and glass. I hadn’t seen him when I’d closed it: I hadn’t known to look for him.
Unsure what to do I slid the door open: he stuck for a moment, suspended in space upon a drop of yellow insides. And then perhaps he remembered gravity and embraced it, falling to the kitchen floor so many stories below.
I went to get a tissue but there were none: never mind, a baby wipe will clean this up, too, put him out of his misery.
Butchery in the kitchen: crushed insect in my hands.
Then I bent down over the sill and folded over the wipe to find a clean side, bones safely inside, and cleaned the sill with what was left of the rag.
Because when else am I going to get down and clean that thing.