A car passes by, its tires soft on the street
gliding through the pine-filled boardwalk,
hollow sounds meeting the ear as it wanders
through the air and lampposts glint with remembrance.
It is a summer night in a vacation city, and they are
whispering through the murmurs of an acacia
stretching its arms over the ballooning skirt of a girl
and the swish of a man’s shorts rubbing together,
passing by as the afternoon has passed. Moment to moment
they turn to each other as tires on the gravel, their voices
like car doors that slam at once, smarting like a hand
on the brake as the car parks—they are talking
about mundane things—dishes left to wash,
chores and laundry, but in their voices gather
the weight of their ghostly past. Over and over
it squeals silently like all the lights of a stoplight.
Seemingly with you but without you, I am
at once beholden to your promises one long ago day,
our heads turning to the other in angles
that indicated intimacy—but that was then.
Summer nights like these seem to never end,
but all has ended, yet still I turn to your voice
as a driver looks in the rearview for a glance
back at an incoming collision. The couple’s gone,
the waves are nearby, crashing with the opulence
of a chorus of seafoam. This is all that’s left
in the town you abandoned. I look up at the stars,
above the streetlights, above the monotone darkness,
and think I can walk along this road alone for miles.
All around me, I can see the intermingled hues,
and hear almost a comforting ring of rescue.
- 96: NO THEME IXSUBMIT NOW with M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHCOMING SOON with M Takolaner 94: BAYTCOMING SOON with Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRO AUSTRALIANwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones