Her boots and her laces tethered. And her shawl, sloppy around weary shoulders. Always the same. In the distance, a frozen lake, her absolution.

Arctic crystals float by like twinkling droplets, cold on her eyelids settling. She thinks of the Sistine chapel and her sins, and her history documented in a small scrapbook. She folds the shawl, removes the camisole, and puts her boots out for recycle.

In her pocket, three strips of Valium, her gin, and a final farewell.

The thought of her aborted child will pass, without reckoning and shame, as she slips into the darkened water.

On the Nordic coast,
hard snow crunches underfoot,
no other option.