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John C. Mannone: Doctors Make Good Killers

ym_94_doctorsmakegoodkillers_amr.jpg
Art by Ann Marie Rhiel 2022

Doctors Make Good Killers

 

by John C. Mannone

 

She’s completely relaxed

after a dose of good sex

 

and nods off under the silk

touch of satin sheets.

 

He slips into the bathroom

looks into the hard mirror.

 

Years of medical practice

stare back through haggard eyes,

 

through the trauma

of an emergency room

 

at St. Christopher’s, the stress

of his own weak heart

 

and all the gambling

of his career. Literally.

 

There’s no other way

to recover the money

 

he owes to the mobster

bookies, not even prayer—

 

no absolution for foolishness

before he gets whacked

 

by a couple of goons.

Desperation is always

 

a poor accomplice

of Deceit. She didn’t know

 

that love could be

supplanted by Greed.

 

He didn’t either.

 

Maybe the insurance money

will assuage the guilt.

 

He removes the vial

of succinylcholine

 

from his medical bag,

draws the solution

 

into the barrel of the needle,

squirts the air bubbles out.

 

The needle gleams

in the soft yellow light,

 

his face pallor with fear

but as colorless as Sux—

 

an affectionate name for

the paralytic muscle relaxant

 

used for ease of intubation

of ventilators for his

 

seriously afflicted COVID

patients; his unsuspecting wife.

 

A perfect poison

that leaves no trace

 

quickly breaking down

into natural chemistry.

 

He bends over his wife,

stutters a nearly silent

 

Hail Mary before

he injects, softly

 

kisses, and whispers,

“Please forgive me.”

 

He plunges the syringe

into his own thigh

 

to give him a little time—

thirty minutes, maybe more

 

to clean up the crime scene

before visceral congestion,

 

before severe pulmonary

edema, before petechial

 

hemorrhaging of heart, lungs

—before the visitation of death.

 

He leaves a note for his wife

[for her eyes only]. Not a suicide

 

lest she wouldn’t be able

to collect the insurance.

 

“Pay Guido” it said: the amount

and directions. She didn’t

 

know they were going to kill

her, too. Naturally, his death

 

will look like a heart attack,

for sure, this has broken

                   his heart.

 

He lies next to his beloved

and sleeps.

 

 

John C. Mannone has poems in Windhover, North Dakota Quarterly, Poetry South, Baltimore Review, and others. Winner/Nominee of numerous contests/awards, John edits poetry for Abyss & Apex and other journals. He’s a retired physics professor living in Knoxville, Tennessee.

 

http://jcmannone.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/jcmannone/



Ann Marie Rhiel is the Assistant Art Director for Yellow Mama Webzine. She was born and raised in Bronx, New York, presently living in New Jersey. She reconnected with her passion for art in 2016 and has had her work exhibited in art galleries around northern New Jersey ever since. She is a commissioned painting artist, who also enjoys photography. Her work has also appeared in Black Petals and Megazine Official.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2022