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
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.