If the bleeding didn’t stop, it has long since cauterized; dried between cracks in the makeup. Her sweet face like sidewalk meat.. heavy, littered with footprints, smog & the like. A quarter in an empty cup of coffee. A liter of dog, simmering next to her. I remember when she slept in the room next door. I would ask her (in the darkness of Buena Vista) if she ever pictured home the same way. She would roll over-pull the BART schedule over the bony sockets and pretend the question never existed.

Cold. No patience for the world around her. When it grew quiet, she staged vicious-verbal assaults on small, unseen children. She named the son: Regret; the daughter Late. There was a nuclear family of mistakes on her soiled breath and she exhaled cockroaches in between the hacking of her persistent cough.

Bitter, frenzied animals would usher forth-devouring the shells.. cleaning up the mess.. returning to the circus inside her sour guts. Jesters in funeral ties would spit fire from her throat. Jackals roamed free. Fists were born clinched from the desolate womb. Eunychs sang from the desert in her taste buds. Sheep turned cannibalistic and you could see the moon crest at the roof of her ramble.

She wreaked of Thunderbird and Mad Dog. She smoked cheap thrills on the grass in the sunlight. She pretended her cock was showing when strangers approached and always smelled the “other woman” on her rags.

She left the motel empty. She left it all behind in the dumpster. Everything she could carry. Checked out.. and when I finally found her answer.. motionless near the middle of the tracks.. when the dogs had their fill.. when the city closed its doors to her and let the real fear in-the face was still intact-frozen with blush and desperation. The smile was an obtuse angle that no one will remember. The blood had melded with the ink on the page. The Classifieds section was crumpled under her head. It was from last April.

It was sent to the wrong address. It was meant for the current resident. She didn’t like to speak of home. She could talk of the omnipotent vortex.. ask for compassion from the stop signs.. beg the traffic to crawl through a small rift in the waves of her black spirit and disappear. She could sing dragonflies into the room and burn the furniture; sleep with her visions still sordid and traverse the hills of San Francisco in bare feet, booming panic.. and hold the dice in every corner with no regard for the money.

But she couldn’t draw a house-that didn’t lean in the wrong direction. It always turned out to be a glob of what if’s and non-linear circumstance. It was built from shame. It was a hearth for hatred and apathy. It was too big for her to live in, all by herself…