23 November 2012

Delirium: poem


Swaddled in the hot womb of the nylon tent
I am suspended in the caw caw of indolent crows
wheeling against a blue without edges
and imagine its water-colour of flies, the broken notes
of country music and the endless shifting
of teapots on laminated surfaces.

I am captive in this concrete square
beside the caravans of those with time on their hands,
now that time has etched its gnarly mark on them,
fenced-in against the aimless hooves of sad cattle;
my only socialising, the stares and staccato chat
on the criss-cross to and from the toilet block.

The pace of this place is a ticking clock
tutting its next minute over and over
the hands stuck on the same two seconds, jostling
like the red ants I watch carrying dead red ants, and the kites
wheeling and flipping upside-down in the breathless air
and all of us travelling nowhere.

Beyond the zipper, I lie in a delirium
of bad food or dirty water
while you set off to explore the dusty town
buy an ice cream and shampoo
but in moments you reappear, sweaty and indignant, saying
the supply truck comes once a week and it isn’t due for days.


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