Argyle St

By | 1 July 1998

The sky fractures like a windscreen
the blue Mobil Mart sign keeps the intersection alive.
Somewhere a tram, dance music.
A council worker weaves
out of a pub doorway.
The idea of living here

amongst slabs of 70s red brick
where developers slip you 300 to move out
and walk away from your vegie patch
making plans for concrete, fake grass,

in a landscape of reclaimed mansions
where a man walks the streets reading SON OF ROSEMARY,
others shuffle in pyjamas past traffic jams—
ciggies dangling, eyes glazed, talking to trees,
making milk bar owners nervous.

I meet my neighbours at the clothes line
the small talk falls between us
like pegs in the basket.

Nights glow in passing planes,
the honeycomb light of the Commission Flats
towering above the antennas, chimneys,
a rubber tree concealing a shopping trolley
and our compost bin watched over by cats

who track my movements in this fibro sun room
where I’m often at sea leaning against a door jamb
that’s seen better days, with the changes
sweeping in from the bay
the way a memory leaves you in its wake.

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