(an out-of-breath monologue)

is the least of my problems concentrate it’s as simple as ever an errand some exercise in charge of one dog two dogs three among snow dead foliage blackened flecks of bark trails winding along the side of a hill crumbling stone steps a collapsed railing waterlogged mini-bridges no tunnels, no surprises just the average frigid morning the same park laid bare a white expanse a half frozen river with gray skies pawprints slush leashes tensing then letting go with each unhooking seeing them sprint ahead each scouting the trails smelling and sensing everything disappearing and reappearing shaggy copper canine shapes on the blanketed hillside but it’s not the least of my problems it’s not and yes again at first it sounds like a pop a splinter of wood suspended in the air a puff of dander it doesn’t register i don’t move no no one moves then there’s another it strikes it’s from up there up the hill but i can’t see a thing ((((( )))))) it isn’t random these are shots bullets seeking flesh and everyone runs i have never seen one never held a weapon never heard it but now it’s no matter i am a dark mark on a white landscape punctuation to be slashed out of a sentence another cascade of shots no sign of the dogs ((((( )))))) people in the distance scattering for cover behind the nearest rock a tree or their cars it’s coming from somewhere uphill the sounds the sounds you couldn’t imagine the screaming the whimpering of a downed dog more shots ((((( )))))) such precision i am imagining spinning i am imagining crosshairs i am seated, folded beneath a large root he aims again and again and again it must be a he it’s always the hatred of the unknown splitting the air someone please come someone make this be over the dogs the two left one down one returning the other rushing up the hill they can smell my heated blood to think they may end this but the rush the holes burrowing into trees and trunks and limbsthis is the least of my problems this



1) Every space is a breath.
2) To be performed completely still or in motion.
3) The monologue never ends.
4) Perfomer will eventually collapse.

Hillary White lives in Minnesota with a cat named Lazarus. She has been previously published in Gargoyle, Clapper, Echo, Killing the Buddha, and Smith Magazine. You can peruse her writing, video projects and mixtapes at the following link: