helveticaevery day is garbage day somewhere,and the birds on my streetline the pavement like soldiersas friday's tank creepsdown the boulevard,crumbs of newspaper billowingfrom its war-torn mouth.the crows flutter sultryin the morning suntoward headlines trailing the streetlike roadkill,cramming bold-print helveticainto their beaksas the ink stains the asphalt.
Memorial under StreetlightsRemember:the drag of grit against shredded skin,our chilled spasms on concrete pillows;we were siblings to cracked paintand the broken windows of orphaned alleys;our tribe hunted under steel canopies,each kill stripped, cleaned,and sold on anew to feed us.Remember:the taste of ozone in the fretting windas exhausts roared their challenges;our wings were tied to the ground,yet we chased Icarus through traffic lights;we ignored the bright city's aging, tired songand crazed through the streets of our youth.+++But after the race is done:when hair resembles a sanded down chassisand only time still scars our faces;when the city's slow song is our guide,and the engines of our minds grow cold;when the steel of our limbs rustand our eyes cannot see the road,please,Remember.
the hard year.in the hard yearthe house was a bruise-blood clotting and pregnantbeneath the wood.the rooms held darkness longerthan lightand smelled of life in reverse- our young bodies bent, but tight as clothes-pins.the flowers in the yard were firecrackersand more than once I sleptin a weed jungle, fingers stripped cables,wrapped in chicken wire boxing gloves.in the hard year,you hit like your fatherand I climbed stairswithout making a sound.
642019"I wrote somethingtoday," I told thecaterpillars on my deskfor the six hundredforty-twothousand nine-teenthtime, clutching wordsin my fist like aloose-leaf cocoon, wingsbeating hard at my fingertips likethey want tofly, soI peeled the paperback and watcheda brown mothtwitch and diein my handsandgoddamn it, crumpled it up andtossed it with the restof the failedbutterflies.
On drinking beer alone.Take its mouth like a conch,portal to a violent sea,and let its tongue slipover yours. Hearit storm against your teeth,swallow. Do not careif it is French or not.We are sommeliersof a lower order.Anxiety sinks, thoughtfumbles for a raft. Stop.Remember you are bored.Worry not: you have halfa case and yourself.You smile and touch your lip,drop your eyes to the bottle:empty as the manwho left you here.
EulogyA dereliction of hair vines your face,and I recall the way ivy hugged the muddy brickswhen we allowed the days to oversee our construction.I caress the cracked barrens of your cheek;the epitaph of your smile is scratched in paddocks,a dusty home for grass-seed dreams left fallow.We invited rain, but only Autumn attended us.The parched expanse of your skin invites water,and I remember the river, clogged with salt;the soft moans of the withered eucalypts,and the one tussock of grass by rusted pumps.Bushfires were a mercy for them.Your casket moves beyond my reach,and I hear the creak from when we closed crack-timber gatesand we coaxed the ute out of its charred depressionand we took the few boxes we had savedand we moved to a caravan on the coastand we talked of water and weather and we floated...until now, with only the soft soundof waves in the distance, and a priest in my ear,I watch as the fires finally claim my home.