by Aaron Kirby and Eleanor Malbon
another few minutes,
maybe the brown dribble from the showerhead will run clean
but work can't wait today,
she inspects the yellow rivulets
as they collect the night sweat
trailing like new veins down her abdomen,
her legs, the drain.
a vagrant drop settles in the corner of her mouth -
taste of chalk, of iron, of something else she can't remember
(childhood smell of dry creek bed).
this is normal now.
a spritz of fragrance hangs white particles in the air
and hides the strange dry smell.
her brother went to see the dam wall
looming absurd, holding back air
she dresses and she thinks; ‘why go there?’
the bike, past the old Floriade carpark
converted shipping containers
once emergency shelter, now
men sit in folding chairs there
cigarette rolls between black fingers
washing strung, musically bare
there are some dogs
nothing special, or really vicious
just a pack
but she’s nervous enough
thinks how she’ll kick if she needs
when she’s clear she thinks no further
work can't wait.
maybe the water
will be clean tomorrow.