This poem was written long ago, and I just recently found it among my papers. I remember I wanted to try write a piece with more technical, scientific language, Also, I was interested in the idea of a person's last breath; was it special? Could it contain something essential, the essence, of a person? I started creating this scientist in my head who poisoned patients in order to trap the patients' last breath. As you read the poem, you'll understand what the scientist hoped to find in that breath. I also played with the form of the poem to give the visual image of a last breath being exhaled. killer nocturnals was published in a random book of contest poetry of dubious merit. I enjoy its oddity, and hope you do as well.