Sometime after midnight. A cricket, chirp, and the ghost of a gust of wind blowing the dust of ages against my leering, should-know-better, featureless face. With a mouthful of dirt and clicking, creeping fingers that snake around a skinny throat, I crawl beneath the visible world. Not many know of it. Even less go. With a blink and a sneeze, I’m on all fours preparing to sift through memories of childhood neglect, and then just like that my tongue’s sliding across her sex as the moon plays peek-a-boo through the open window. The second she comes, I slip between the layers as easily as I slip my fingers into her secret place. It’s wet and slippery, and not so secret. Not to me. There are pine trees and a great abundance of snow. The snow is stained red by a strange fruit that grows on branches withered by a summer of great sun. I am an only son, prone to premonitions. If you were to peruse through the wreckage of my life, you will find a girl with a story to tell that’s never been told. I am not the one to tell such a story, although she’s in each and every one of these words, that’s for sure. There’s a door, by a river. It flows in my garden. The garden stretches for miles. With my tongue deep inside, a fog comes along drenching everything in its path with a sweet scent of melancholy as pungent as the waters of her womb. There are many ships. There are many harbours, and yet there’s only one my heart set sails from. As I stand in the garden, taking a piss against a shed that has a door with a lock but no key to open it with, I tilt my head back and open my mouth. The mist from my chest swirls with the fog that’s crept from London. From Mitre Square, it came. In the darkest recess of Ripper’s Corner, the ghost of Catherine Eddowes stirs to circle my seedless hips in a town that drowned years before I was born. Perhaps she caught scent of me, but I can’t even smell myself, so how can it be? They say babies are born smelling of butter, but I was delivered basking in an aroma of sin—like blood and swishy sewage and soiled panties dripping with the kind of desire you wish you had back when you needed it most. Like that time the sun in my heart was eclipsed by the fear of my past, and how even though it was years behind me, it loomed as heavy and as present as a sunset.