Death’s First Day: in (an almost) sestina

It was the first time I killed a man.

Just shortly after 2 am.

Three people passed by unawares.

The fourth called an ambulance.

After five minutes of chest compressions

He was declared dead six minutes before.

*

A little while later six detectives convened

a solitary meeting to discuss possible suspects.

The five who made the list were interrogated

Twice but their lawyers

got them released after charging them twenty-five dollars for every quarter hour.

Of which they used three.

*

If I had arrived three minutes earlier

six detectives would have sat twiddling their thumbs

but luckily for the four of them paying alimony

I was late the first time I killed a man.

I’m the second generation to hold my position

For five years I’ve heard all about how important my job is.

*

I wish someone would have told me how to not be late five years ago.

But no! I get three weeks of shadowing my predecessor

And two tries with him shadowing me.

Now I’m six days in

After fumbling the first time I killed a man,

and there are four orders on my list.

*

Four judges wanted the case,

Eighteen to life but paroled at five,

was the expected outcome after I first killed a man.

If the three witnesses could have identified me

I’m sure I would have been sent up the river Styx.

Two of the three heads of Cerberus pointing my way.

*

My two brothers laughed when they saw my uniform.

Four millennia people like me have been doing this job;

Six members of my family are reapers like me.

I spent five years hoping it would get a little less cliche

but I was wearing the three piece black suit and carrying a scythe

the first time I killed a man.

*

At two in the morning I was five minutes late,

invisible to the four passersby, three of whom kept walking,

on that day in June, when I first killed a man.

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