consider this
the heartbeat of twenty-
seven stolen seconds, dead

reckonings in
bitter January birth-
pangs; consider

this the end
of beginnings, letters
upside down

on an unfinished
page written by one
who breathes the last

gypsied breath
of penance wearing
chipped midnight

on her toes, walks
the iron-dark canals
like some soulless

wild thing, all the while dis-
once upon a

time, i knew
how to write
love songs.