Ode to the Metro

There’s a still point in the afternoon
when the cross-eyed dogs
in the smudged pet-shop window
are a distraction:
         no poems, in this stuck point
of the afternoon, I just watch
cross-breeds with shredded paper
stuck to their paws. It’s not that bad.
Amongst the mutterers in tracksuits

and the teenagers in musk-stick shorts,
the drivers of retirement village buses
         who smoke and pick their fingernails
against the wall;
it’s the hour of the disinterested and lonely,
and the poets too, I guess (it’s not
that bad)
         the bodies overspilling the bulk-billing
neon doctor & nervous men
in polo shirts
         pulling honey chicken off the bones.

Past the bakery
where all the bread is cheesed and lurid, and the florist
where the prices droop,
the busker missing a guitar string
and a tooth and the masseuse
who’s asleep at her own station.
I’ll take a sample shot
of lukewarm wheatgrass – it’s not that bad –
and run my fingers on the pelts of peaches,
become certain of their gravity, the point
where they might overspill
and scatter.

Published in March 2014 no. 359
More in this issue: « Smell Mostly water »

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