These desic­cated moments
flake off my skin
like so much over­time.

My hands are dry and cracking,
peeled raw and papery
My neck my back my eyes
I walk slowly down long tram­lines
in dark­ness with lights behind
catching up and winds blowing
Down too straight alleys
beg­ging for leaves to swirl
in some form of jus­ti­fic­a­tion

And here
And here
There is only loneli­ness
and betrayal, the wind simply
bites into flesh and there is
no sweet recon­cili­ation or tri­umph
no deep sigh of accept­ance
no sur­cease
no drug
no smoke from cigar­ettes
some­times the cloying sweet­ness of alcohol
Becco mac­chi­atos and the juice of limes

This city
This city
cries out twice over in its jagged tracks
in junkies’ arms and CBD boulevardes
in the lonely hearts of its tinpot prophets
shouting hal­le­lu­jahs from street corners
and handing out cold embraces to hungry teens
from dark vans on the edges of malls,
passed over again and again
by bespec­tacled suits shouldered down into
their guilty avarice, their whispered dismay,
their wanton vicis­situde.

Meet me halfway,
I’ll dance spirals around old bronze men
hur­rying to their appoint­ments on Swan­ston.