KILLER

HEATHER WHITED

It was in anger 

that I killed the 

sourdough starter 

languishing 

where you’d left it

in the fridge

(all bad 

experiments 

so far; 

a hot night 

where I tried to 

sleep,

spread scarecrow

on the sweat-damp sheet

fighting for a breeze while 

you paced, 

anxious as an 

expectant father

waiting out the last prove). 

Small,

turned into 

myself 

as a bug 

half dead in the sun,

filling

the mason jar

with growing 

satisfaction. 

The water steams;

once lively, bubbling 

as we peered through 

the glass,

the starter is

now slime 

flowing into the drain.

No, 

I do not feel better, 

I would tell you, 

if you asked

(which you will not)

for doing this, 

for my petulant act 

of drowning,

for knowing 

that I’ll soak this 

quite frankly 

stupid jar

until the sludge 

is soft, 

the crust relaxed 

knowing that 

you’ll never again

grumble 

over a bad bake, 

robe open, 

sour frown, 

a comfort, 

backlit

by a summer 

morning 

orange and aggressive 

spilling  

through the window.

sand hills

Heather Whited is originally from just outside Nashville, Tennessee, and after many changes of her major, somehow graduated from Western Kentucky University on time in 2006 with a degree in creative writing and theater. After a few years working and traveling that saw her hanging out on no few than three continents and gave her the chance to try vegetarian haggis, Heather returned to Nashville to obtain a Master’s degree in education. She now lives in Portland, Oregon, where she teaches in the public schools and at Portland State University. She has been published in several literary magazines. When not writing, she plays on a killer trivia team, beats her friends at board games, spends time with her dog, does not go camping, ever, and tries not to think too much about the vegetarian haggis.

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