by Walt Staples -
The final break in the case.
I take a sip, the bourbon anesthetizing my tongue.
Our anniversary—26 years.
She lied to me—it was her all the time.
Everybody lies to cops.
Level in the bottle slightly lower.
The light through the bottle glows amber.
My oath to uphold the Law?
Swish the alcohol around in the bottle.
My vow before God?
…to have and to hold…
Slide the bottle back and forth on the table.
I will discharge my duties with integrity…
I take another sip.
…for better, for worse…
Almost a dead soldier.
I will act justly and impartially…
“Hello, Homicide? Let me talk to Clater.”
Bottle into the disposer.
…until death do us part.