You’re a darlin’, she says, her canny voice
smoked with years of distilled grain
followed by highs so high she bleeds.
Her rasping breath at home by the wall
in dirty streets tunnelled with memory.
Imbued synapses, the snake of her veins
saturates skin with paper verses
written in invisible ink.
The good old, bad old days of chasing the dragon,
and so tired of it wiping away all that she is:
This changling belonging to nobody,
in a city that she will never leave
until keeping level gives her a final spin
down the hurdy gurdy lanes.
A waste of cash? Maybe – but, then again,
she might buy a coffee or a burger, instead.