I was out walking yesterday or perhaps it was today
when a man young as a son spoke under his breath: go
back home, he said, you belong. There, not here. Before
not now. This is not the first time, time was confused.
Tomorrow I go for a jog to let my slab of fat dance
and a woman pushing an empty pram stares,
imagining a past and a place of return I cannot.
I leave the suburbs, and the slithering hills
are nice until they realise I am ignorant
of their names; I am walking away
to the place I live in, and the sun is wetting
my hair, wilderbeasting my body, adding weight
to every step. I shop in a convenience store
and the old man there nods to me, eyes filmed
over with where he used to be. His mouth
opens, throat bulging, and he ejects a red brick
small and perfectly formed. He says I will need it
some day. To build a bridge or a home? I ask, but
he doesn’t seem to think there is a difference.
I put the slick brick in my pocket. It is light as
the wind, heavy as a country. I return
to the house I grew up in and the house tells
there is no succour to be found in the past.
Outside, I see two men in love as a feature
of the landscape, their fingers reaching up
to tender sky. They spit into my hands red
sap I will need some day to mortar. I travel
into my flimsy chest, my lizard brain,
find a refrain of no and go and back and
land and man and home and beneath this
an echo of milk and brick, corn and breakfast,
you know, the ordinary things.
Level 4, Griffith Graduate Centre
South Bank, Campus – Griffith University
Sidon Street, South Bank 4101 Australia
South Bank Campus, Griffith University
PO Box 3370, South Brisbane 4101, Australia
Phone: +61 7 3735 3071
Fax: +61 7 3735 327