28 Dec 2009

On the town with love -- Penelope Layland


Don’t want to know if we will
never again stay, hours as vapour,
walking out later into surprising dawn.
High shoes in hand and the
night’s city sordidness printing
my feet. You with the grey pallor
of alcohol, scalp crawling light,
a dingy glow in the bend of your neck.
It’s a long way home and the city wakes:
orange billows on filthy glass, greasy
water on warming concrete, the nausea of no-sleep.
We’ve had so much more than they’ll
ever know – the night and then all of this.
Don’t want to know we will never go home,
to sleep in the jackhammer dawn.

Source: Porter, D & Millett, J (eds) 1989, ‘On Struggle Street – An Anthology of New Poets’, Poetry Australia 122, South Head Press, Port Melbourne.

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