Pretending to gaze out the window, the whole carriage listens
to its only conversation. Clouds hold and won't release rain.
Pedestrians, unsure whether to move left or right, collide.
Drivers at intersections wave us across, smiling, briefly.
A plastic shovel, face down in our backyard. Wilting
leaves. Cobwebbed pages. Overhead, another plane lifting …
We have become no-one to each other, bleached, thin.
Drought opens cracks in the wall, the shape of our gods.
Streets away, the grinding wheels of a turning tram. Near,
insect-hum, a neighbour hammering a nail into a mortgage.
I stroke the immense flank of a ghost gum and wait,
sandalwood breathing softly against my wrist.
Incense circles the room, the wrung half-limes sing
their silence to a wet blade. Home, as solid as smoke.
Immune Systems by Melbourne poet, Andy Jackson, is a new(ish)
book out from the irrepressible small press, Transit Lounge. And it's
tip top. Of course. Cool and astute, exact and exacting, honed, grounded.