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Writing Wellington: Twenty Years of Victoria University Writing Fellows

Going Down for Air

Going Down for Air

Mole, who is not the brightest creature
but industrious and mildly droll, dug
and dug against the day of definitions,
worked tunnel to tunnel, stroked
a paw across honest sweat, sentimentally
thought on the odd evening, sipping
a lager, how beneath the entire city
ran another city which was his, Moles-
ville. The suave chatty professor
he sometimes drank with liked to hear
the stories of how the galleries
connected and shafts bucketed down
light and the double doors made it
impossible, virtually, to be pursued
or even discovered. Mole perfected
the city that was like a more splendid
city on the other side of a mirror laid
where the skyscrapers rose and rose
while his went down. The suave professor
let him see the bullet he laughingly
called a pellet from the orifice of Correctness.
'It's silver, you know,' he said. Then
shot the Mole. The deepest, nicest,
safest place you could imagine
ready to be moved into, spick, complete.
But a disappointment, to say the least,
when his morning coffee on the inverted
heights, even his Croix du Sud
croissant, reeked of rankest mole.