WRITTEN AND ILLUSTRATED BY DEATH

Street fox by the bins chewing on a cigarette
snarling at the lights that block out the night,
he’s never seen the stars
but he misses them.

Death is kind of like getting your hair cut,
you have to make chit chat and all that but
you leave half satisfied, feeling small –
you paid for a service and you got it in full.

Spare any change?
I’ve only got a quid, that alright mate?

We walked for hours down the cobblestones,
they’re still there, you know, beneath the tarmac.
We talked for hours about how
we all live the same refracted lives:
call your mother, take the bins out, turn on the telly,
wonder what you’d eat if you could afford food,
smoking stale tobacco, close to dust
a fistful of fear, a carful of rust.
If you speed it up it grows like moss,

if you speed it up it’s all just burning slowly.

Spare any change?
I’ve got none, sorry.

Love is on the dole and that’s where she’ll stay,
twenty quid and a Nokia brick,
negotiating her own existence with powder in a public toilet.
Put a lid on it and a cubicle’s a coffin.
Knock knock, got any bog roll?
Five painted nails appear by the floor, take a tissue,
and she’s alone again.

Spare any change?
Spare any change?

“You know nothing, remember nothing,
but teeth and fur and tobacco”

“I remember the inside of an ambulance.
White walls, water from a plastic pot.
You didn’t cry when you picked me up,
I did.

I wanted to do it somewhere public,
so they’d find me fresh, nothing messy,
I dreamt
of the mountains, drinking river water,
wandering barefoot with the wind through the leaves
and the wind through my hair,
and I almost
almost felt whole.

The next time it happened you couldn’t bear to look at me,
you sent a taxi, driven by the devil.
black tracksuit, bald head,
green eyes piercing through the rear view mirror, I
still had dust in my hair, under my nails.
He asked me how my day had been, I said
Fine.”

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