IIIIYou talk of wonder and dusk
and the sun setting below …
IIIIas if it were not
IIIIthe Earth spinning on …
IIIIOf colour … as if more
IIIIthan your visual cortex
IIIItranslating wavelengths of light
and … as I continue to inform you —
of the greater span of the snake …
IIIIyou point a cross
With your cervical vertebrae
upwardly inclined you speed
talk of stars … and wonder
IIIII explain how you are
IIIIdeceived by your body —
IIIIfor we look down
IIIIpinned by the force seen
IIIIas I drop this half-eaten
IIIIapple at your feet
IIIIAnd yet you talk of wonder …
IIIIAnd I talk of the chemicals
IIIIcrossing the synapses … Of this
you remain wilfully unaware
IIIIof midnight … and wonder
IIIIyour midnight can
IIIInever be mine
… of wonder and this
IIIImoment … of being
IIIIand invite me to share …
IIIIIn exactly what??
As the constant in the measure of steps
I re-enter the house … the equation
for the droplets on my shoes?
IIIIIn your thoughtless version of time
IIIIyou will come in eventually muttering
IIIIabout a stiff neck … That is predicative
IIIIand regression analysis of the current
IIIIdata would appear to demonstrate
The night train
One day you will realise,
though you will not remember
which day, since the days are
in the end much the same,
but still it will be one day and not another,
it will be like switching on the lamp
in the night train, you will never
see the scenery for the reflection again.
And here it is. Wherever you go,
you will find yourself
already there — sitting
not in the centre, but at the end of the bench,
beneath the eaves, bag clutched in your lap.
The rain comes in sideways,
and your trouser cuffs are wet:
the dots have joined like ink.
It's unmistakeably you,
the way, having slept against the headrest,
curled around the bag,
your hair now stands up at the crown,
fronds of bedraggled fern;
the way your trousers bunch in the flex of the hip.
You must have alighted hours ago;
and when the light behind the clouds
went down beneath the chain link fence,
when asked — Are you alright?
you must have said —
I'm waiting for someone
to collect me. You're too polite to say:
Kathryn Hamann is a Melbourne based poet. She is the author of five books; the latest, The Threshold of Silence, appeared in 2008. Her work has appeared Australia wide as well as overseas. One poem even travels free on Connex.
Belinda Rule is a candidate for Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT. Otherwise she writes software specifications and makes websites.