Bullet wounds

Small and beautiful, she had three bullet scars on her back, parting shots from her former husband.

A few years later, she encountered a tall blackbeard on St. Patrick’s night in an Irish Channel saloon. On Magazine Street, just a few blocks from the famous river curve.

Their celebration continued through several more dives, and that evening ended at his home near Bayou St. John where both passed out stone drunk.

She had a part-time job, descending into black holes. She was a chimney sweep, the only one he ever knew. And the most lovely.

Squeezing into those sooty spots served a therapeutic purpose, one imagines. It seemed too obvious to ignore. But the bullets had damaged her soul. She vanished.

Blackbeard kept her photo for decades, smiling at the camera with a pencil in her hand, touching her lips. She was a writer most of all.

That snapshot sailed away like most of his possessions just before he boarded the jet that took him to Guadalajara.

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