Something left me that night,

Propelled from the capillaries,

Through the parting lips,

Of the fresh wound,

And into daylight.

Is that part of me,

A ruby crumbling,

In the corner of a wardrobe somewhere,

Clinging to an existence,

Doomed by the condition of all things,

That it must decay to nothing,

So that something else might survive.

The detective’s cocked eyebrow opines:

Their clothes will have been burnt,

Along with the cells and plasma,

And whatever else you think you’ll find.

Ashes settling on a brick wall,

Or the cobbles of the alleyway,

Go panning for carbon, by all means,

Because that’s all you’ll find,

In this vicious circle.

I comb the alleyways,

Heeding the words of my wounds,

Through their stitched lips,

Undeterred by reason,

Propelled by dwindling time,

To find the elusive ashes,

And the key to my freedom,

In a burnt-out barrel,

Still smoking out there,

Somewhere in the wasteland.