Not for the first time the house has done her in.
She waits for the clock to stop.
The neighbour’s dog whinnies at the coming night.
She stands outside the front door and beyond the
garden with its roses and thorns and parterres of poses
the street lies empty but for the lines of parked cars
and the litter scraping fitful in the dusk chill wind.
She chains cigarettes till she feels her lungs bruise.
Lamps on stilts flicker the only promise on the pavement.
The houses are lanterns lined up for the festival of routine.
She has watched the same party nightly for ten years,
smelt the tuck that has fattened families from comfort to dis-
And in the space between that which is valued and that
torn asunder she plots the remedy of escape.
In her head it is neither revenge or revival.
He will see things differently, as only a man can.
He will flex the muscles in his head and his cheeks
will tauten with the emotion ligated to his insides.
He will consume the liquid contents of the fridge
and with each glug his nonchalance will grow.
He will not think to seek answers by tracing her footsteps.
The dog growls at the shapes that make up the darkness.
Through a slit in the fence she sees it pawing at the air
as if trying to bat away everything it cannot see.