Take Back Control

Entry by: Finnbar

21st November 2018
Residents Only

As she steps beneath the lintel, the brisk
bite of new air promising snow forces
her back a half-step and she
hesitates: A moment of doubt
before regaining her strident purpose.
Lonely glow of my cigarette tip would
betray my presence if she cast about. But
instead she comes, bundled in
Superdry and haughty disappointment,
bolt cutters trailing,
appendage of retribution.

Bike racks. Canal’s edge. She pauses
again, intent quasi-formed as
the creeping ice; brittle and cold.
I pull and suck greedily,
eyes and mouth.
Nicotine and spectacle raising
pulse, flushing skin
alive against the frigid air.

Perhaps the steel is weakened, passed beyond
its range of usable temperature. Fatigued.
Or rather, I am conditioned to assume,
and she an Olympic powerlifter beneath
her swaddling judgement.
Either way the links offer little fight.
The ice should try to stop her,
standing there useless in the cold, without even
the excuse of a cigarette.

No such manifestation of will, it surrenders
dramatically, flakes and shards thrown
skyward to splash back around a submerging pedal.
“Residents Only” she mutters, the phrase glinting
in the moonlight. Over and over it sparkles,
cascading doom, as she sets
the cutters
to chain after chain.