she stood in the doorway looking at the flickering lamps

at the moths that swarmed around them

at the blackness on the edges

at the windows run over with spiderweb cracks


she sat down with hands on her knees looking at

shards of paper drifting like feathers

clumps of shadows sitting on the carpet like cats

little strips of pink wallpaper hanging from the curtains


the ceiling fan quietly turning

slower, until it stopped

she stood on the faded bed sheets and pushed it

so that it moved again


she crept on tiptoe to the broken glass

looked through the window at the grey streets

in some places the smoke was still rising

she could smell it, it was like char on her tongue


there were ruined people trekking away

grey like ashes through the streets

slowly, tired on their own feet

and the clouds opened to cheer them on


the rain splattered like paint on the tiles

of the black roof

the girl opened the windows and

invited it in


she crept out and looked down at the water rushing

and it ran so deep, clogging up the pipes and drains

designed to hem it in

overflowing onto cobblestone and cement


she reached out and touched it as it burst from the clouds

it dripped through her fingers

slithering to the ground like one huge snake

clenching the whole world with its jagged teeth


she fled back inside because it was dripping poison

back where it was warm

because of the smoke

and because she was cold


someone screamed outside the door

breaking it down and stumbling inside

clambering around with their loud feet

jumping when the embers burned their flesh


they stumbled up the stairs

and into the ashen room

where the ceiling ran was slowly rotating

where the window was cracked and letting in rain


and more came

and they searched and searched for her

but she was gone

where no one could ever catch her


and the clouds poured over the ashen city