i could taste failure

even in my whisky 

watered down to nothing.  

her clothes smelt disgusting  

her face was dirty, puffy, red.  

she lit a cigarette and stared.    


you are circumspect.  


what?  i answered, 


not knowing what she meant.  


you circle your subject

to get an idea of it:  

you circle because 

your prey is full of strength; 

or you circle, 

because the animal you hunt 

is almost dead.  


which am i you think? 


i should have answered 

in the positive,

but said:  


i want to know 

if there is anything left.  


at once, her eyes 

were filled with hatred.  


i think that is a fair request,


i added.


what more could be said?

this was not an actress-  

no one cared.

as a journalist,

i was being honest:  

my readers want gossip-

hagiographic nonsense-

few would wonder

at the depths  

of this woman's conscience:

what fears she conquered,

what knowledge

wrested from despair.