For Ian McBryde
You need not have your eyes open
to know that the sun is out.
I have yet to invite myself.
Friday. What didn’t happen?
The bride’s doubt is visible through the veil.
Metronome on. Appassionato lost.
The fireman is trapped inside.
A draught, yet the curtains are still.
Inspired by Jessie Imam’s photograph ‘Untitled’ (fox bones pattern)
There is a time when all will be laid out,
cleaned and placed on unbiased white.
Each method will be identified, dismantled
and splayed. Every limb of the lie will be
held to the light; the joints unhooked,
the scapular and jaw bone removed,
the axis disturbed. Further rotation of truth
will be disabled. Will you tell it then?
Or will you walk as though
your coat were still attached,
your faux reality still intact:
that torn, slipshod trick.
(Shortlisted in the 2016 Nullumbik Ekphrasis Poetry Award)
The stoic. The washed up fish-eaters.
The floating people mistaken for buoys.
Those that lean against glass panes
graffitied with black marker obituaries.
The mutterers. The wailers in the parks.
The power walkers that won’t stop.
The weeping selfies. The huggers.
The entanglement of mute glances.
The agent that stays at the empty
open-for-inspection until the end.
The student buried in her set text.
The incense burners in the sewers.
The junkies. The abandoned phones.
The frugal, lined woman planting
makeshift crops between two walls.
The bone collectors. The hystericals.
Those who refuse to step on the stiff birds.
Those unmoved by the disoriented dogs
and talk of the all-white reef.
The singers. The stripped hypocrites.
The ones that cannot cry anymore.
The ones that know it is their doing.
(Shortlisted in the 2016 W.B. Yeats Poetry Prize)