• Your neighbourhood poet

WHITE CELLS IN, BLOOD OUT

She had become a sagging creature of dust in the days

We left her there; uneven lips and protruding navel,

A cleaving disgrace to the churn of milk stain mappers

In gleaming uniform. Her voice was a whisper

Lost in the crepe-coloured pages of Balzac, only

To be found again in the plastic mould of a running tap beside.

When she spoke, no one listened. Silence

Is both a well-kept bijou and the damnedest of crooning beasts.

She would die in the unfolding of an esoteric drama, the doctor said

In a paper-crisp accent that matched his wordless coat; pain

Pulsating against the humdrum beat of a ruined fortune. Hers

Was in my hands, greasy with the oil-light

Of years spent decaying. No, it had not been hers.

Now she would never know. That she could have died surrounded

By family, greedy-eyed and waiting for the last, absorbing breath,

Death welcomed like the taste of dissolved sea after seismic dusk. But, perhaps,

This is better.

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