The Wolves

Itís a ghastly time
to be naked:
waking up
in a hotel room closet
as last nightís bile
fries on the cobble stones
20 floors down.

How did
the underpants
wind up there?
Neither the rats,
the pigeons or the buskers
could care less.

ďI donít think an ambulance
will help,Ē somebody says eventually.

A black sun
in the heart
as it pumps
out a wooden
and wonky

And that bar,
the one-time church,
is now a dead-end:
Itís where the neon-coloured woman
with silicone breasts
is motorboating
an old man
with cobwebs in his ears
- in the darkest corner
of the room.

The street
is no kinder.
Itís benches feel like cactuses
and itís signs are crooked.
It ages
with tuberculosis
while cars with spooky headlights
hiss past
and spread Cold War-gloom
through their horns.

The wolves
are roaming
the mindís corridors
smacking their lips
and nudging the doors
with their noses;
the bomb finally detonates
in the mind
and the eyes
with the flames
of an apocalypse.

Somebody unbuttons his shirt
and pours water on him,
and he huddles tight
as his breathing shallows,
his fever soars,
his pulse turns hell-wards
and the tremors
barrel through
his yellowing limbs.

ďThe ambulance
wonít make it tonight,Ē
somebody whispers eventually
from a long way away.

But the wolves
are already here,

Josh Jennings is a journalist in Melbourne, Australia
and has published poems and short stories in a number
of publications including Dogmatika, Word Riot, Sex
and Guts Magazine, Neon, Idiom 23 (Australia), The New
England Review (Australia) and Beyond The Rainbow (Australia).

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