On the train
the two of them are big, wear
denim like animal skins, hair carved freeways
& beards a wilderness. They stink (soil, damp & sweat).
Talking to a woman
Newtown ………………..mid 30s
her language cranked down to a strine
that soothes, dampens, lubricates
the rambling of these men.
Everything they do or say
is as though it’s grabbed.
Even simple talk about the weather is found
& taken like a ram raid.
No, she doesn’t drink
after 15 years of fighting it –
Fucks ma head.
Her face torn,
tense – maybe unfriendly except for the words plus
she’s given them her address
(causing the shit-rich shipwrecked
suit-woman across the aisle to become panicky,
a shiver at the perimeter).
Yeah Newtown. They’re heading to the Cross
….for a while.
I realise they’re me, bar a few accidents.
I’m her with her habits
in handbags & other people’s hallways.
They’re a miracle of matching
& so common.
Or rape. Will the guys talk about
sharing the bitch?
Perhaps she’ll tame
& pamper them with hot meals beside eastern curtains.
Give them perfumed baths, stories to carry
to the next stop.
Prison, psych hospitals
the bush & the beats.
& wander uncertain paths with only
a spinning bottle for a compass.