The stairs creak voices – ketamine thuds bleed through
a single skin of brick; floorboards leak every secret.
The clock reverses – intermittent Gabba – radar moon. Cats scream,
I scream, howl my longings into cotton sheets. I scratch at the floor,
draw words in the mist of breath on pane; look through letters
lit orange by the light of the city night, at my beloved street below.
Bodies crawl, fumbling for keys – staring into shadows.
My hand-printed curtains float, lifting up as the city’s sweat billows into my room.
The shouts of children climb through my windows like burglars,
angry mother ’ s scream and drag them back out.
This house breathes for me – joists splintering with love,
the beat of slamming doors hides the sound of the past
that is buried alive in the red brick cellar below.
illustration Nick Victor