'Distractions at Rental Inspections' by Zenobia Frost | States of Poetry QLD - Series Two

1. Toowong

A possum nestles
in the split
                 crook of the kitchen’s
                 plasterboard ceiling.

I shake my attention
back to the man who peddles
the empty front room:

                working ceiling fan   carpet
                with pleasing bath-mat grit
                natural light self-steaming
                equipped with tilting dresser   if you want it
                and a front-row view    of a famous graveyard.

I let the texture of his pitch
wash over,    sneak my eye contact
in increments
                up into the furrow: the sleeping possum,
                the ceiling’s luxury embossing,
which  like any real fur insists
                touch me    touch me    touch me


2. Moorooka

It’s a break-lease.
We inch across tidal boards
that dip and creak, asthmatic
in the damp and dust.

We follow the agent
past orphaned dressers,
shelves, a piece of torn shirt.

The house smells of wet earth,
the bitter spice of deep-
                             dug yards.

Downstairs,   the agent
               unlocks the chain
and   with two hands   wrenches
the sliding door
               off the bricked-in   under-house,
rests it like a ladder   against the wall.

In the yawning space, a nest
    of mattresses.

The toilet
veiled by a shower curtain
              seems subtle in contrast.

We are silent in the doorway. The agent
shrugs. I half expect to see
a pair of pliers,
              a few loose teeth,
                             a bucket.

It’s as-is,     the agent says,
                but make an offer.

Zenobia Frost