These street signs have buckled beneath their own weight,
as they were always bound to do,
and their interiors are hollow shadow
and shaped metal and filled with plastic bags.

It doesn’t rain, but water falls from the open skies,
and all the rodents move in the times ahead,
and the sun never shines but gaseous flames glare,
and the living are merely the dead.

I was born here,
amongst contemporary cobblestones
tumbling in discordant symphony
through the ruins of themselves,
and in the shadows of our terraced homes.

I will work here,
and waste away beneath ugly skies and ugly lights,
and breathe in the fresh air of summer as my lungs recover
from the oppressive pollution of winter, autumn and spring,
and type until my fingers are the white of bone,
as my ambition is as purple as the night.

I will die here,
and mourned by the few selected for a day,
or two,
and my corpse will be ash as it floats along the Irwell,
that river I have hunted and traced and despised
and my suicide note will be written in every line of sugar,
in every unpublished word, freely given,
to strangers on the internet.