Lit up and out of tune she’d bawl

to make her ten green bottles fall

but near the end, its song and dance,

they came down like an avalanche;

decades of empties drained and tossed

in stairwells, basements, cellars, lost

to blackouts or, pulled back once more,

a locked ward off a corridor

it took a white gowned summer

of heat and gauze to wheel her down.

Dried out by autumn, washed and dressed,

she’d idled into brittleness,

stick-thin with rage, with nicotine,

the doped rice paper of her skin

too yellow now, too old, too wrong

to bottlebank a singalong

or raise, hoarse from its shattered past,

through lacerations of smashed glass,

her voice again, uproarious.