Neutral Bay, New South Wales

1 May 2018

The full throated thrum of the service trucks
and i am swimming in frangipani
with sprays of white aster against green foliage
on the stone walls of Neutral Bay, the odour

of rubbish bins like stale piss behind
the bus shelter and the relentless high
speed arboreal rat-tat-tat of the
cicadas. The young carry the sun about

in their bodies, bright-seared and deathless,
savouring mangos like edible stars and
five-dollar-a-cup coffee. The continent
is prodigal of wonders — pouched animals,

billed beavers, shaggy trees dropping their skin
or iron-barked; and not these only but
urban stylites like latter day saints atop
their third story Thai restaurants and weeping

from the first bitter sip of ale, through
the spring roll starters, weeping over their
minced chicken salad and cheap bubbly.
The cicadas’ hum is the cantus firmus

of a city at song, chanting the hours,
the blessed bodies, the sacred hearts of Neutral Bay.
The service trucks stop under a window where
the stylites meet to weep the city all aflame

from the inside.

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