In the corner of my mouth, the long road from forever

A bit overdressed
I thought, it would be cold up here
Green parrots and pink galahs 


On the lawn, amongst bare-shouldered trees 
Each fossicked seed a new returning soul
Borne into uncanny blue
In startled opal fire


Coins in my pocket (for you know who)
The weight of unpaid debts
That lock of hair the colour of the dead
Swollen gums we used to hide behind


Full of street cornered threats and invocations


Some broke sticks of chalk to write
On the footpaths and the walls
Nothing particularly legible 
Sad and lost and proud held lines
With that difficult kind of joy
You get in wreaths of disarranged native flowers


Coming down, high and desolate ways
A cattle truck swagger
The blind menace of hungry chrome
Eating every crow-crookèd road
The hills old dog dun and brindle backed
Swaying like a mercy


Scythed my mourning face
In another town
Faraway
Nowhere to the sea


Through the rust stained eye
(Thought of) hurricanes and
Carelessly dropped ice-creams
Fragments laved away


A new day’s shining face 
An endless broken promise
Never going back


Got those old commissure scars again
From too much hard smiling

Cow town

We return to childish homes
Stealing pieces of ourselves
Blocks where
Almost nothing left
Fits
Except  the criss-cross shadows
The iron in that deep part of your nose
Spit on your thumb and rub
Indelible welts
From the formica table’s edge
Where cigarettes burned down
Left from fingers, hard as yellow 
A slight tremor in the ribs
When passing cattle trucks
Slowing, brake, the hard, pneumatic wheeze and shriek
Jolting square, starvation eyes
The jigsaw door, half-smiling
Clouds of puffing smoke
From the stacks above the abattoir