Ann Arbor Review
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
He runs, bone grinding bone.
The rhythm is almost the same
and because each laboured football
detonates a stab of arthritis
along the miles of his soles
with other accumulated pain
he runs into thirty-five years gone.
His vanquished belly comes first
the belly of a dinosaur.
He runs around roadside trees
rather than dodge vehicles
dislikes noise, humbug, 4WDs.
His angry father drove a Dodge.
His families chase him through landscape.
He smells fox, a survivor
imagines the howl of hounds.
His lungs, obscene with age
wheeze out here ahead of the pack.
Weighed down, he rasps into his past
runs away from home, mouth agape
running into the ragged future.
They follow, family, yet each alone
wife, youngest to eldest children.
He is handicapped and handicapper.
Higgledy, but bunching closer
they glimpse their quarry trekking
past blackberries on their circuit
that ends on a suffocating hill.
Dry-mouthed, he swallows the sky
grey stubbly hair streaming blond
the breeze cooling his youthful brow.
In the dinosaur's belly, below his heart
a long-hidden six-pack strains.
Up that hill, as close as love
they strive to reach him.
He limps past derelict warehouses
quiet now after a restless life.
Fog hugs the street & his lower back stabs
but the sun sneaks remember me kisses
from behind its exhaust screen.
Something is wrong with his bowel
& he likes the sagged guttering outlined
against this shrouded backdrop.
Drips seep through rusted gaps
like memories on sleepless nights,
nourish pale weeds in gravel & his teeth
exude a smell. Broken glass that can't last
much longer, fades to yellow in windows
where sparrows fornicate like squatters
in this city of his past that shimmers
with the clarity of hallucination.
Smell of diesel on the air, his elbow's
arthritis, hot touch, sears him,
knockabout memory in bone,
& it would be a wasted effort
renovating this scene that he loves
just the way it is, like an old painting,
its oils hardened, the patina of age.
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