The girl was on drugs.
She wore all black to disguise the fact
that she was a colourful mess.
To anyone who had loved her they could
quickly see the life-force draining from her body.
Her jaw squeaked and rocked in her face
struggling to find the middle centre point.
Her once beautiful pearl white teeth had begun
to erode at a rapid rate. The cocktail of ingested
chemicals were turning her teeth a corrosive brown colour,
they looked as if they had been stained overnight by Coca-cola.
More worrying was the state of her petit body
and the mental diss-array of her mind.
Death was stalking her in Asphodel’s meadow.
To the untrained eye she would simply resemble
a worthless and detestable drug addict.
But this wasn’t always so, at one time she had been
a cherished family friend loved by all, especially
the hopeful adult children of a certain middle-class family.
She had even been a maid of honour at the first born
daughters wedding. The same woman accelerating towards decline
had once been the picture of health before being ripped
down the centre by vice and schizophrenia.
Late one night she crawled into the backyard
and lay comatose in our purple whicker chair.
She came to our home, the only one she knew
naively offering an assortment of drugs for consumption.
She wanted to trigger off a ballroom tango of
dopamine and sertonin in the brain of any person
stupid enough to accept her offer. We all collectively
refrained from partaking and also judging the wayward soul.
On the contrary the desire to plummet towards death death
was not upon us with any urgency. Or the need to short circuit the human brain
causing irreparable damage and kaleidoscope mania.
She was in the iron grip of the vortex, struggling to
differentiate dreams and hallucinations from unwanted reality.
The thought fled through my mind hiding behind a walnut tree
to cast the defenceless incapacitated girl into the night.
I mentally weeped for a moment then thought better of it.
This grown woman had transformed artificially into a child
and had slipped with a thud back into the agony of drugs.
Some bastard Hopper must have supplied her after
cleaning her small rented room from top to bottom.
Despite her habitually lying haze
I knew that she needed to be cared for.
I made her thrice cups of tea and waited
out her long drawn out siege upon the living.
A peppermint tea was enough to drive her out an hour before midnight.
After chain smoking ten cigarettes in a row
she decided to wander the streets again looking desperately
for something she would never find.
Five hours later she posted before her ramshackle departure
in eloquent prose:
to my sweetest of devotions. i love you forever....