Poetry Journal

Issues / Volume 5 Issue 2 , November 2015



Andy Kissane

  At the appointed hour the houses migrate,
  walking on their pincer legs with the surety 
  of a crane, taking up different allotments 
  in the same street. We wake to an aria
  spilling from a neighbour’s window, thrumming bees
  who cannot find their nest, their queen. 
  A man’s barnacled voice counts off the names 
  of the ships in the bay below, while the scent
  of coffee wanders down the cobbled alleyways,
  drifts under umbrellas and plays hide and seek
  with the vanishing shade. Later, we take out
  a rowboat, oars slipping under the glassy surface
  of the sea. I scale and gut the fish as you build
  a small fire in the bow and we savour the idea
  of freshness. Eating the blackened skin reminds me
  of the fruit bat who snoozes all day in the jacaranda, 
  then makes whoopee at night, crying out
  in a language that inhabits this space beyond sense.
  Apprehension comes slowly, it’s a physical thing, 
  like the heart beating in the chest, the body
  awake to the presence of disease, the bluetongue
  basking on the sandstone with one eye open.
  So much of living involves learning how to wait,
  without knowing exactly what we are waiting for.
  The purple blossom sticks to the wet bitumen
  in a pattern that intrigues, that appears theatrical.
  We leave the darkened cinema with our senses
  stretched, footsteps echoing insistently behind us, 
  the headlights of a Volkswagen trailing our car
  as we head for home. We manage to lose them
  at the traffic lights, wondering if any
  tectonic plates have shifted in our absence, if
  our house is where we left it three hours earlier.