No one noticed the slightest
difference. He met his guests at the front door
with a ready smile, tie perfectly knotted.

Unseen, the palm fronds hushed
as usual in the dusty exhaustion of evening.
The pendulum sun swung wide

of the city. Dinner lingered on
with red fingernails of wine left in glasses.
Temptation trembled in him like water

in a pool. Alone now, he paused
as darkness climbed the stairs with him,
tightened his finger on the trigger.