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

The Picture in Front

This one day a woman
sick of arranging cutlery and laundry
thought to wave a napkin in the air
hail the sky and be whisked

Away
(if only to the neighbouring town)

Finding herself in an empty café
she was caught staring outside
an anchor, centre of the town
Unfamiliar

But what a fine shape! and noble!
Her eyes stuck

Out came a pen and a glass of water
the napkin, too

So the anchor was drawn with it,
the differently coloured bridges
and differently coloured houses.

Flicking her hair in youthful artistry
(she imagined)

The woman stayed put in the town
a day, a month, a year.

Everyone there
lit candles and put music on before dinner.

Drunk in Brussels

  

She is talking to me through the air

“Where will we go ne-“

A hand burnt on hand
A hand on a handburn
A hazy half-ternoon hand

“wasn’t that Accordian player -“

Sun.
Fingers crashing into beer
glass that is lifted,
By Magic!

A slurping of fizzy brown

Next-door mouths babble and sing
what language is
that
or, the language of

Drink

The mint leaves in his glass
Light coddled warm

Sliding up the wall, His head is the
centre of time

Green are trees
Head is shaking her girl
in the corner

His Open is shirt in the
Sky.

You are the music

The music pours into the room.
 
This room is you.
 
It’s always been there
but I hadn’t noticed it until now
 
Before, I didn’t know the richness of the tapestries on the wall
and I never sat at the oak table in my pyjamas
reading the story inside its wood
 
In the cemetery
I held my breath all night
 
I felt the leaves, or was it you
run a hand down the line from my cheek to my chest
 
The deep black line curving through
and aching
 
As it echoes,
aching in thick pulsing waves
as it echoes
 
In the morning
it washed me ashore, into your arms
Back to the room in the house of my heart
 
that I never thought to open before.

Sun

I like seeing the morning rise
I don’t mind if you don’t

Sitting there like
what’s the point, really

Nevertheless
we were nestled against the Doric columns in silence
you fingering the tassels on my scarf

But even I feel the disparity between seeing and thinking

Whilst the colours rose,
I was mentally selecting the right words to use in a text message to my mum

You were looking up why is the sky blue? on Google
I also got a snapchat from my friend
at a club in Australia

At the same moment that the sun burst through in all its gloriousness,
a plane dirtied the sky above
and my friend screaming and drunk
on the flashing video in my hand
neon to black

Now here, now gone
the clouds settled, and I’m walking back
people holding their grubby mugs and frowning
it’s 9am

The world has forgotten the sun ever rose in the first place

Evening seminar

She was talking up to the ceiling
orange LED reflected in her teeth
 
I felt like – what did you say?
oh yes, Youth Group
the hall reminded you of Youth Group
 
Not that I was ever there in the first place
another girl’s past splayed out before me
 
The topic was colour
and my back ached like stone
 
Light danced like a junior-school disco
my friend in glasses smiled meekly

Rubbing her hand
across the circular table
 
We were somewhat stale, or grown up
 
Before leaving
I took a sip of water,
then a gulp,
then poured the glass over myself
 
Ran head up
dripping from the theatre