Sand Down the Western Highway

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The words I’ve been reading
Sand I’ve been treading
Pasted on my ankles and hands

And what I talk about
When I talk about now

Your long hair
Tied back in the days I’m gone

I hope the same song
the same lilting chords
Are stuck in your head too

As you watch trams, rain, money
I’m seeing you
and the wide open sea

My favourite backdrop

Exhale

A cat sits softly
with the fading light
 
The last pink embers of the day
fall into the sea
 
Australian winter sky is
distant bush fires and salt
 
No one notices
 
The cat licks her fur
matted from weeks of lying on old blankets
 
Evening shakes hands with night
I’m just a spider hanging from a web
 
When the hand comes to brush me away
the cat will not raise a paw
 
I will land on my back
 
The air will be chilled, stilled
 
silent

Overhung

I’m splayed on the carpet
a bad-mannered starfish clutching my toes

half a piece of toast hangs from my mouth like an old bauble on a Christmas tree
my hair is seaweed,
dancing in
greasy, disgusting tangles around my neck

in ten minutes I will
stand in the shower and dissolve,
skull against the tiles
for now I’ll just lie back on these crumbs

last night… sloshes around my head like
soggy gym shoes thrown from a car

the scraps keep appearing
churning out groans like a compost bin

I plummeted from the dance floor
onto a pair of eyelinered fish heads
sucking out each other’s gills in time to Kanye,
swaggering nasty through the throng

I think I smiled clumsily and retrieved politely
the slice of lime
that had fallen on her head from my glass

then, failing to care, I flailed my jelly arms
back into the strobe light wonderland of
whoever’s kitchen it was

My toast is as soggy as the gym shoes now
I must have dribbled into its charred, miserable crusts
Where’s mum?

At least on this sad, sad morning there is coffee, that jolly little Italian waiting in the cupboard. He’ll help!

There was this other bit where
I was talking to the wall and you came up behind me
putting one drink in my hand, one hand on my waist
my silly drunk waist
I turned around to your grin, and all the noise stopped
my eyes lolled from the bridge of your Roman nose to the sharp line of your chin to your neck and I grinned back, foolish like a schoolgirl
but there was…something

until, in the shaky blur
you were gone, replaced by a fridge
and I realised I was standing
head over the sink
alone

This coffee isn’t working
after one sloppy sip,
I’m betrayed by the aftertaste
like a grotty homeless man’s sneer

He’s staring at me now,
a foggy, motherless mammal
knotted up in flannel pyjamas

Shutting all the blinds
I grovel myself away
little worm that I am
off to the shower
in hope of another chance at my sunny, life-affirming Sunday morning.