A Certain Kind of Countenance

Her face, like a flower
In a closed fist
Wrinkled against time, adversity
A patronising counterpart
Settled in for a long lag

& the drugs don’t work, all the time
cigarettes, booze, pills, smoke . . .
you name it, it’s viable
as long as it’s a substitute
for reality, three dimensions

a quiet cup of tea
& dogs are barking
cars growling down the thin streets
sirens screaming,
intermittently
a broken tap drips
drips
drips
across the room, nestled amongst
dirty plates piled high
flies buzzing amongst the scraps
on the kitchen bench

a few ragged photos litter the walls
& the money’s all gone
two cigarettes ‘til hell
no substitutes immediately avail themselves
as each thing becomes a part of her
like broken crockery strewn across the floor

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