I am working very hard not to offend you          whilst also   surreptitiously

dropping you repeatedly from a great height     like birds do to snails 

but it doesn’t work     and I’m not even doing it anyway

     we all know I’m crouching beside you on the ground     which is very real

and to which you have spitefully anchored yourself

 

I am trying very hard to not appear hardworking      by being pampered     

in a leaky mall        trying to forget about the next thing you will spitefully 

anchor yourself to      trying to offend you with my coral nails and my bleached         reef

        I think it’s beginning to work        until I notice the anchor 

protruding from my beautician’s neck

 

suggestive only of endless unspent water
the indifference of work        the most hatable
indifference to beauty       then down by the water on the way
to see the boys     i stop for a smoke      there's fishing        hot
night stuff
guys not talking        not my mates     i pause and attach to their quiet
in the mall bebe rexha hoons         down here gulls
i tell the boys    there was oil on top of the water          they say
of course there was

 

that and worse       ebbed out of memory
into something murkier        a few voices thru the basin     
more boys      good boys     w their third-hand references 
  (  some old movie       ideas of the sixties        the night sticky 
like satin       pored over at a charity auction    years later

 

I found where I'd hidden
all my darlings—sweet Georgina with the hose
on innocent little brother—lazy-eye Vanessa
(none of these worthy even of a true crime podcast)
Leanne with the dead lawn, nightshift daddy

 

Who never forgave the colour of that lawn

And stood always at the front gate

Silent and firm, fists curled

Like that hose before the water cut off.

 

For as soil depletes into dry cracks,  
magma hearts spew 
earth love into the cities: 
Who will save her garden of Eden?