Give It a Try

By | 28 March 2003

Where's the railway station, mate?
It's just around the corner wrapped
in the escarpment's arms
like a winning hand of poker.

We trudge together, stick & pack/
intersection at the end of his rage, my wander.

He's 42, the second great love
27 & out today with another guy.
Ex-wife plus kids
job & age.
Sediment          On the train
we're smothering miles,
discuss the whispered edge of being men.

The guy's intense, but gentle –
teased to the edge of atrocity.
I am convincing. He edges back
from the sovereignty of fists.

His career is a toxin, infecting each minute
with its hunger, chafe & worship.

Perhaps she's saying
“Give me space”.
Maybe her telling you beforehand was important.

(just as likely
you've stuffed it, more calluses to dress
a once open flesh….
                      but why say that on a sun-salved day?).

I peel some dead skin from a cuticle
put it on my tongue. No other communion required
as the woman in levis across the aisle
repeatedly thwacks her ticket against a thigh.

At Sutherland we shake hands –
I offer luck, some peace.
Count 10 before you step inside, mate.

His smile is built, its polish hard work.
But the weather is waiting
& it whispers rust.

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