By Patricia Walsh

The recurring recidivist is dead, long live the king.
The powdered bubble goes on for weeks. 
Depleted options carve their own standard meals
Insulted after dark, a chance to know better. 

The ruptured silliness, compassion being fatigued.
Singing over misery, cancelling social logic. 
The cliff-face of suicide climbing by inches. 
Whole nut bars still not garnering sympathy. 

The pretended phone calls flying home at last. 
Criminality being sought and acted upon. 
The inviting water repeats the burning threats. 
Always sent home at peak times, over drink. 

Hard at first, then a habit. Needing an outlet. 
To feel drunk and safe, and joyous at that. 
Swallowing medication to assuage worse nature. 
To cease and desist a prize walking downwards. 

Gone before advertised, home before dark. 
Cooked from the same recipe, enjoyed at length,
Getting off with the coveted creature, still a barb. 
The completed profile gauges a rotten transformation.

Never mind, the time will come, if needs be.

Patricia Walsh graduated with an MA in Archaeology from University College Cork, and her poetry has been published in Stony Thursday, Southword, Narrator International, Trouvaille Review, Strukturrus, Seventh Quarry, Vox Galvia, The Quarryman, Brickplight, The Literatus, and Otherwise Engaged. She published a chapbook titled Continuity Errors in 2010, and a novel, The Quest for Lost Éire, in 2014. A second collection of poetry, titled Citizens Arrest, was published online by Libretto in 2020. A further collection of poetry, titled Outstanding Balance, is scheduled for publication in early 2021. She was the featured poet in the inaugural edition of Fishbowl Magazine, and is a regular attendee at the O Bheal poetry night in Cork City.

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