A handful of almonds

 Did you know they contain cyanide? I couldn’t bring myself to eat even one.

This sad treat was my wife’s solution to hunger after she burned the basket I kept in the top rafters of the barn. I had filled it with chocolates and secreted it up there in the days after she banned all joy in our household. 

 Balancing the whole thing on the end of a broom was the only way to move it up and down. I dismissed the notion of a pulley for how obvious it would have been. I kept it there for years, until she found it when hunting owls for ritual components. It became a transgression too many.

 I kept each handful she gave me. They went straight into my pestle and I poured the dust into a paint can in private. I distilled all my problems into a glass of water. I think she regretted not being more interested in my science experiments.