The stages of a breakup, losing a loved one, across the night it happened, the next day, then months down the track.


I emblazoned your name with my lips across the dark, dank city walls as I leeched my way home, stepping over cracks in the sidewalk like a superstitious drunkard. The streets were occupied by the homeless and desperate. I tried to digest how they all ended up there, every night they’d play the same encore of begging and posthumous plans of heaven or hell like it was their marvellous debut. I thought maybe I’d assimilate into their guttered culture one day or another, the way I was going.

My moral compass was stuck in one spot, I couldn’t shake the needles from under my skin and the thought that I’d be sleeping alone tonight for the first time in years yielded no cure for what ailed me. Was this my nadir? or maybe my culmination in a poorly dressed manner, a blessing put into lamen terms.

The colour of your eyes already felt archaic to me even though it had only been an hour or so, as my slouching bones, soaked in dry whiskey, approached my doorway, semi-lit cigarette in mouth. I made it to the liquor shelf first, then the old, torn up leather couch we first kissed on. I fell asleep watching reruns of 90’s sitcoms with glass in hand. I never heard from you again, but my bones, oh how my bones still ache from that bent out of shape dream-like walk home.


I stayed in a cheap motel that next night, home didn’t feel like a safe haven anymore, the wallpaper was like rust I was inhaling and your voice was the exhale. Iron bars layered the one window in the room I found, speeding through bloodshot red lights, only vacancy sign in town. The guy across the hallway told me an embellished anecdote of someone getting their head stuck between the bars trying to escape a fire one time a few years back, I guess he lived here, rent would be cheap. I thought of it as a conjecture, he told it with unintentional pathos, so inadvertently I smiled, nodded and staggered back into my room.

All the power was cut off on my side of the building so all I had was the fluorescent light from the street lamp posts outside, where the moths would gather. I’d hear the cries of junkies and dealers all that night, shuffling from corner to desperate corner. I didn’t sleep, not a wink or finger rested, I felt like I was on a dais, with all my mistakes and regrets watching me speak as if my mouth was the cornucopia. Maybe I’ll stay again tonight. Still with you in mind, still rotting my teeth with the bad seeds of your goodbye.


Months have passed. I’ve been dreaming of you every night as of late though. Sleep is like trying to sweat out an incurable disease. I’ve painted over billboards with junkies and lent my name to red door casanovas to pass the old hands of that endless clock. Told two door-to-door salesmen they’re going to hell and fair weather friends they’ve got a first class trip to heaven.

It’s become a humorous plot, my life, like an old 1930’s short film. I found fool’s gold in the bottom of a barrel filled with booze brewed from the last bathtub in this small street my father introduced me to. We named it ‘pestilence road’, so fitting, it was like tin foil lightly covered in fake gold.

My precedence was in the buzz of the ears I lit aflame with words of passion but that was always the high talking, a kindling of an anteposition solidarity echoing from a broken shakespearean chest.

I made a mosaic from my muse, I’ll hang it next to my empty bed, dream of the family that slander and some that still love me. Youth will wilt but I’ll have those tiles to remind of good times and missing piano keys knocked out by my drunken teeth.