Rain leaking through the ceiling,
hitting the metal sink and clinking
as a hammer forging steel.
Dark thoughts in a dark room: pacing,
blowing smoke in circles around the square
Drops gong like a church tower
echoing through empty cobblestone.
The rope is ready, hands gripping it like a pull-up bar.
Drips fall to the sound of a prison cell rattling,
patting the surface in perfect seconds.
Kick the stool; you are lost and cursed,
the curtains closing
to the pitch black. Close your eyes and see the back
yard of your childhood home, the downpour luring slugs
and you killed them in your raincoat
with a shake from the salt container.
Mom said it was coming down too hard.
No one calls now; there’s nowhere to go.
– Oakland, CA