By | 1 July 1997

a thread
his olive suit shows a thread come loose, buttons sewn cheaply. his lapels curl
with a double-breasted edge. my gaze feels vicious. his grey suit sits flat
with a woollen look. her thin-soled shoes are crumpling towards the point. her
mascara hangs heavy, she could be sleeping. I begin to understand the huge
shelf of magazines at the station, the irritation of over the shoulder reading.

when I step on the carriage the air is thick with more than the usual smell of
dark tunnels. there is a coiling around the air. sit and wait for it to spring.
then it begins. she starts to sing, loudly with no joy. I have caught myself
humming to my walkman at times and suppressed my ticking fingers. but she
is singing, just call me angel of the morning. the stare of the passenger
continues from every face, a blank. the air stiffens with the noise of her
rough tone in the shake of the train.

the window
the water shows in a glimpse through rose bay’s greenery and then the
gallery’s elegance. I want to find domesticity in the close windows of the
nearby houses in this short passage through open air. the grey house is
promising. today the curtains are different. there is no seeing through the
freshly painted walls, a humming icy fridge, a white bed billowing with muslin,
a metal sculpture. someone stands, and writes, and goes to the fridge and
considers, and sits to face away from the rail line close to the window. back
into the tunnel with a rattle.

a short distance
water pours down the glass door at the end of the carriage. the small space
of light before the next dark enclosure shines with the wet colour of
rainbreak, and heavy green plants are climbing the tunnel’s shoulder. this is
a sight to contemplate but the rushing archway makes it a glimpse. through
and out again, the park is damp grass and a mist has covered all the taller
buildings. my ankles know the cold I will feel when I step out into it, the
street’s puddles shining in the hardened early light. the greyness stretches
across the close sky, no sight past the next block. the sky is a wide cloud of
fog as low as the ground in the short distance.

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