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The Neighbours

next-door have paused their shouting,

now play music that sounds like

voices in a blender, on pulse.

I try to picture flowers in place of the sound,

but the poppies turn to blood,

and the blood turns to a gun,

shooting out their electrics

and their brains.

Not that I want them to die,

but the council gave them a final warning

three years ago.

Their dogs bark in their absence.

I shout shut the fuck up,

try to mimic their owners

so they don't feel so afraid.

They are barking children at the window,

waiting for their parents to come back

from the shop, bags clanking,

pockets oozing sickly cannabis,

stolen coins, sweet crack-cocaine.

They will bark until they're dry,

until they pass limply into sleep.

When they wake, they’ll be screaming.

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