There’s a certain amount of you that needs to lie to yourself
so that you can catch your bus
past the lions surveying the poor
savannah of Newtown and down
that long Adelaide neck to the green
basin, its cracked pavilion,
the twin terraces whose centre once
you walked, where your mother
bought a car after years of taking
the train to her cleaning jobs,
while you sat quietly in the big unruly
houses and pretended not to go
through those stranger’s drawers.
How long that mile had seemed then
with all its shine and roar.
They’ve shifted the road back
and forth, in stages of improvement.
How small it all seems, returning.
You could try again to be open
like the storm drains they’re laying
are to the sky and once they’ve found
their right and proper place, they’ll seal
over and carry that crush of liquid
on the pouring days through
the city’s concrete arteries
to the sea.