Taut line of thin manila, rope creaking, on dusty rafters swinging.

In your shame.

On your record player, the crackle of stylus on vinyl dry, Nina Simone, in a smoky jazz bar, patrons sipping on cognacs, oblivious to your indignity, your shame, your cat alone, and a patch of urine dry, the stench at the point when muscles collapsed, no control, the noose nudging breath from a tired, broken body.

Forty years of dead weight, and then, like a pendulum still.

It was three days before we knew, and only when the landlord opened your door on Monday evening, the spare key on a green keyring, the stylus maintaining a constant path within the run-out area, the dead wax, spiralling endlessly through the back streets, up and down, round, and round like on a hill.

My Baby Just Cares for Me.

ever mounting debt,
the summons, the court letters,
pills and booze and fags.