'derailed' by Chris Arnold | States of Poetry WA - Series Two

excerpt from Ligature

he drops his shoulders
lets out his breath
finds himself benched
between green wood slats and
a black plastic platter of sushi,
disposable sticks in his hand.
ache on his right eye like a river stone
thinking like five hands
at the piano.     city stratified in front
his eye’s diameter
curves the park – half-moons grass
before his brain corrects,
sets it back flat beneath
palms     pines     poinsettias
that trail over asphalt;
ocean wind in
the river is busy
seems to flow back
toward the valley
as if behind its face
it replayed a moment
– something misspoken –
over and over
hoping the minute
were different.
he empties his breath
and says stop
the sound of her name
a song that doesn’t budge,
contains less
sound without her.
he begins.         on the hill
he should turn right
but thinks of his chair
pinboard partition
the stench of lynx in the men’s
and walks forward:
North until the rail bridge
lifts him      stops at its peak
as cars pass under: aluminium slab
and pantograph
hide passengers
sat silent         still
as the city speeds beneath

Chris Arnold