Black dog takes me for a walk. Leaves scream down from trees. Rusty snow.
We walk while my legs leak blood, it sloshes in my socks. We walk whilst I sleep. My body remembers in the morning.
“I’m tired.” I say.
“You’re always tired.” Black dog says. “That’s why we never get owt done. That’s why you’re on your own.”
“I’ve got you.” I say.
Black dog’s eyes are deadlights. He stares through me.
“Can we stop for a bit?”
Black dog sighs, his nose points down. Shadows choke the streets and people push past; they light their wares in shop windows.
“That’ll be us one day.”
Black dog makes a noise. Sort of like a laugh.
“There.” He says. “That’s our place.”
It peers between buildings, black as a gap in a smile.
The house where nobody lives. Paint thick on broken glass. Each window was a dream.
“No one can see you up there.”
Black dog inclines his head. Crows shun a gambrel roof. The afternoon dies in its eaves.
I slip hook fingers into the space between the door and we go upstairs. It smells like a bedroom from long ago.
“Remember when we first met?” Black dog says.
We’re upstairs; a row of three black windows.
“You can see out but they can’t see in.” Black dog says.
I watch the rain fall on the streets below. I watch their windows wink. No one looks up.
“I said you’d like it here.” Black dog says.
A fire crackles in the grate.
I don’t remember who lit it.
We curl up beneath black windows. Black dog and I.