Driving to Broken Hill

By | 1 May 2018

Distance—continuous, ungestured. Crows
on fence-wire-watch stretching into a haze.
When a kestrel hovers it’s an abundance—
like water, or a horizon with a hill.
We pass towns, streets written-off by dogs
and half-asleep dreamers. Those who live
at the edges here must have put aside
all satisfaction; mile after mile of paddocks
full of saltbush and wrong conclusions.
The heat keeps drawing wobbling lines
parallel to forgetting. We think of rooms
by the sea as we drive, no props in this theatre
of emptiness, only a whistling kite
or two, trucks hurtling on interstate haul.
At dusk, more kangaroos, unblinking,
holding their pose, stunned into road kill—
the highway’s only intimacy. We hear insects
smack against our windows with thwarted
wanderlust. The horizon glowing red
is not what we can attach desire to, though
perhaps a sky strung with starlight, a vault
of curative silver, will be enough to ease
the choking flatness, the ubiquitous dust.

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