According to the opinion of the deputy medical examiner of LA County as expressed in the autopsy report you print in the computer lab between classes and carry folded in your jacket pocket all day, mode of death remains, at this time, undetermined.  “While his history of depression is compatible with suicide,” you read, “And the location and direction of the stab wounds are consistent with self-infliction, several aspects of the circumstances (as are known at this time) are atypical of suicide and raise the possibility of homicide.”

We grind up half a jar of trucker uppers from the interstate service plaza outside of town, cut them into lines with a laundry card and snort them off a little pink-framed mirror that you keep next to your bed.  All I want to do is kiss you, the tip of your chin, the side of your neck.

Instead, we sit, hips touching, dizzy and dry and invincible from the ephedrine, and we take turns, on your bed, reading the report aloud:  “These include the absence of hesitation wounds, stabbing through clothing, and the presence of small incised wounds on the right arm and left hand (possible defensive wounds).”

I light a cigarette for you, the transfer from my lips to yours as close to anything more as we will ever get, and even with that suspicion, or psychic foreknowledge, I don’t savor it enough, don’t pay enough attention to describe the sound of paper catching, the sound of your lips as they close around it, the edges of your eyes as you smile, your lashes as you look back down at the autopsy report.  “Additionally, the girlfriend’s reported removal of the knife and subsequent refusal to speak with detectives are all,” you say, squirming with relish at the words, “of concern.”

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