the Fitzroy Flasher

art and ideas: photos and words: mainly and sometimes.

The dusty air

Is warm

My throat is dry

And you and I

We’re in overalls

On the bank

Of an ancient river

Waiting for rain

That we can smell

Waiting …

For so long we

Start talking tall

Of sea creatures

Anemones

Sounds like

Enemies

We collapse

Laughing

To unforgiving earth

As rain falls

Heavily

Rapidly

And life erupts

I grab your arm

And pull you to

Unsteady feet

We gasp for air

And kiss

Through water

streaming

Down our faces

Giddily we watch

Torrential chaos

And I swear

Emerging

I see

Green limbs

Contort

And form Infinity

A sign

Are you seeing this?

Our eyes meet

This is how

Time stands still

And we are soaked

And belly laughing

As we are drawn

Like magnets

To touch

Brush hands

And we race the sunset

Like little kids

Running full pelt

Against time

and darkness falling.

Tears tease my face –

Pressed into my hand –

Propped by an elbow

On a window frame.

Cars pass steadily

as Dandenong Rd comes

and goes like an old mate

Familiar but much changed.

Arriving early –

I take in the stillness

And silence –

The smell of the heat wave

the creaking pews

Under slow steps

The church – erect

Stifling

In it’s repression

Fills with the muffled sound

Of subdued people.

And suit jackets stay on

Despite the heat, which

Causes a steady sweat to

Drip the length of my back

As I watch the front rowers

And see that they don’t feel

Like it is quite real

And it is,

But it isn’t too –

And I cry passively

As we stand and sigh

Simultaneously.

Bring back the old days:

When we had progress going for us

Idealised hope for inclusivity

Cos we knew more and thought more

And saw the world of difference and embraced it

And I was sorely mistaken:

I thought you embraced me

Yet your arms fell to your side

and my body slipped away

And I fell hard

like I just found out

Santa was fake

Because you believed that

Social liberalism was code for

Self serving ignorance –

And I couldn’t unsee the irony

Sleep-ins foil good intentions

As the sun gives rise and

servitude to Christmas Day

I flick the kettle on and spy

The sacrificial honeyed ham

In an overloaded fridge

That strains to cool the

Offerings that hours later

Will fill a lace tablecloth

And the good plates

And the Tupperware

And landfill

And…

My spiral into chaos

Is caught by a ringtone

On the house phone

Giving rise and promise

With eager small talk

A trademark exchange of

Familiar voices rejoicing

And ‘passing you on’ –

The result of years of

Love not habit, that

You’d be forgiven

For thinking was obligation

Not heartfelt desire

On the day of too full

Bellies expanding on family

Marking off another year

Of unspoken, blinding fear

That despite the odds

And by diplomatic virtue

Adoringly refine and

Endearingly define us.

Delivered hard,

In short words,

And long pauses.

To my surprise

She’s caught me:

Full headlights

Frayed rope

Doe eyes and

Misplaced passion.

A photogenic instant,

Outside of any comfort:

My abandoned hope

A heated cattle prong

A silent fear, this swan song.

That I think will end me.

I want to hear ‘I love you’

In hot breath on my ear,

When I ask her what is wrong?

And she says ‘nothing’

Head cocked mockingly

She tells me that

I ‘look alright side on’.

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