Mister Chu pushes up from the mattress
and walks by way of somewhat sore knees
to the adjacent bathroom. The sun rises.
He cleans his teeth and washes his face
with the blue liquid that has a chemical in it
to make his skin cold.
This is the purchased equivalent
of splashing his face with water
(while also splashing his face with water).
He dresses, taking a pair of shorts from the bottom
of a tall pile of shorts and a t-shirt from the bottom
of a tall pile of t-shirts.
He walks down stairs (themselves a miracle
in the one-story State of Texas) and turns on the kettle
filled to maximum the night before.
Perhaps previously he would have waited patiently
for three minutes for the kettle to boil,
but these days he uses this time to its fullest extent.
Across the length and breadth
of the blonde kitchen counter
there will be a thousand ants in need of killing.
The Jains wear masks across their mouths to stop them
from accidentally interfering with the progress of microbes
as best as the gauze will allow for.
Jains avoid stepping on the smallest of insects
that may be in any way cross their path.
Mister Chu is not a subscriber to Jainism.
Mister Chu takes a bottle of cleaner, organic but still deadly
and in a sweeping motion from right to left, as though reading
The Tibetan Book of The Dead in Chinese, he sprays.
Sartre mentions in his book that Sisyphus is,
eventually and for all time, happy in his allotted work.
Mister Chu also.
Each night he will climb the stairs and wait for sleep to come.
Each morning he will descend and begin his day not with Tai Chi
or a fresh watermelon juice, but instead slaughter.
One by one, some wriggle, half broken.
Outside, waiting for breakfast,
the local cat has brought him another bird.