William Fox is currently studying at Melbourne University. His work is appearing in Thylazine, Sidewalk, Paper Tiger, Centoria and Redoubt.
Like a raindrop, she is rushed.
One raffle ticket.
One lead butterfly,
resting symmetrical on my unlucky sleeve.
She sits near me in the library,
starboard side of my corner.
I was rained on this morning.
I read that running makes you wetter,
so I walked. I could smell
leaves cradling in sweat as
the rain slowed. The wind
spread a wax finish over spine and crevasse.
Well, hard covers are more expensive.
From a bag she pulls her own copy;
an Introduction to Economics &
I said I loved a girl
who wore headphones & cried to sleep
when her parents fought.
But you are deaf. Your textbook
& music reassure you like a blurb.
From here it sounds all cymbals
& wannabe gongs.
She has kept an umbrella with her
which is violently inside-out. It
looks as surprised as a frill-necked lizard.
She taps quietly
& laughs in urgent instalments.
Some people are annoyed.
Across the bored road
the beach is busy until whenever.
My uncle lives with my grandparents
in his own, crowded bungalow, continually
re-furbished with lighthouse girlfriends.
I visit from the city in haggard fashion.
In the back seat, I thought I could
saddle the bay and dream.
I got thrown off by an underpaid rogue.
Most of all, I drag plastic shackles;
a manufactured lump with nothing to do,
& once on holiday we cut it loose.
My grandparents cook. Dinner is
like packing, carefully rushed, as
the sun ruffles her clouds for a
short appointment with me.
The bay mediates & clocks dull-blue overtime.
Office lights are not beacons. They
are dots to be joined,
peep-holes along the horizon –
Portsea, Sorrento, Mt. Martha.
Greek fishermen wade. I can hear them,
mumbling above the waterline like makeup.
They catch nothing. The stars
arch a mild solarium. Wet pebbles
pop & slide like lawn bowls.
My father wants a grave near the sea.
The gulls blare as if it were morning.
My father is shirking the issue.
I smoked accidentally as I
passed her at university.
She is an ambulance, sirens going,
exclaiming small-talk like a nurse
for the terminally ill – the effects of
academia are well documented.
Her bookmark face
invites green research,
& a government granting memory.
The council is throwing them away.
Classrooms, boys, & you, introduced
like a teacher constrained in work experience.
I sat alone & beside myself.
Myself, studying the arc in your shoulders
as dictated through a pressed school dress.
Or myself, lifting your pony tail
to check if it bent music-video truth?
Obviously Iíve changed channels.
Though the lawn is always wet here,
you see lovers find the time,
tolerant & going at it like virgins.
The lawn simmers & returns, healthy.
I was smoking. Obviously, she was impressed.