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Throttling pink dreams of night raids. Rats run. Narcan is low. Dogs follow you on the street and men say HOT and HOT seconds before late summer monsoon. Clang at 9, clang at 12. Nature is this repeating joke: this vow, this house, this crown, this yoke.

On your phone you swipe to only find grinning blonds, femurs akimbo. Inked. Booted runts who slam the downstairs door.

Alone at home you cast runes. You sit with a chartreuse velvet bag of Mongolian bones. You cast, you moan, but no big wet throat of the world will hurl back the satisfying answer.

Today they drew your blood to count the eggs before a black cab came.

This is how civilizations die, says the Gab newsletter in your sockpuppet inbox. Sometimes they are overthrown in cataclysmic warfare and conquest. More often, they lose the will to live and die of demographic suicide.

After three mezcal shots at the kitchen sink, you begin to think that the dead can send cold trickles through your spine. You swipe. You pawn. The Praying line of booty shorts is on sale at SSENSE dot com.

At night you ring your neck with a doubled rosary of pearls to strut down the alley like a rampant blade. The violet club lights in the basement bar feel cold where they pool on the floor.

I personally think this is all a lie, you intercept.

You thumb your larynx and lean slowly toward the bleach job in a k-hole, remembering that summer when you all laid naked across flat rocks and the water crossed your stomach.

How did you sit through needles and vigils, robberies and rape, the swallowing prickle of ice winter night, and become a woman with fine hair and soft skin in a quiet apartment?

You are no mother. You are no conduit. Heave.