, , ,


The city crumbles and takes her with it,
her portrait painted on its aging skin.

They should have sprayed her over metal
so she could live forever

like guitar riffs in a basement
and lovers we will never meet.

Instead, she’s been falling apart since day one,
a persona stenciled on concrete

barely more permanent than flesh.
Her heart refuses to break

but the surrounding world is falling apart
and always will be

and she is one with it and it is her and she is
all the things we should have listened to

but ignored
like our bodies

the substrate we grow on
the lines and cracks of age

the structures of civilization
and all it pretends to be.


This poem appears in the collection Inner Planets: 50 Poems by Matthew Howard. Available in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook.