Published in Best Australian Poems 2010

You asked to stop there for a can of coke, you needed to piss 
and the tank was empty so I pulled in. I stood by the bowser 
pumping gas to fuel dreams set on fire years before and you 
said to the attendant that you'd been short changed.

If only you knew the truth in that.

The tyres were near-bald and paint job robbed by rust and we 
were there ten metres apart, sliding doors between us and I 
was standing watching your mouth move.

You were telling the attendant that there were not enough 
coins—the change was wrong—and you were pleading with 
your eyes with one hand in your front pocket looking casual 
and honest.

And you looked at me through the glass and back at him and 
you picked at lint from your stained pull over.

I watched your mouth.

You were hoping like fuck that he'd give you that two dollar
coin so you could walk through those sliding doors, flip that
piece, lay it on the dash, shove your feet up and feel just a little 
richer for all those years we'd spent.

Boots from Canada
Published in Page Seventeen and Aesthetica. Shortlisted for the Aesthetica UK Annual Creative Writing Competition (2012).

You sleep softly on fire in a city that knows her footsteps from time to time    Your bones slip into each other    Your bones slip into her honey-milk hands that are framed by the brown couch in the lounge room    She looks like home    You sit on the couch and it cradles the shy-love-lust and her brown-cow eyes bore into yours    Several cups of tea and wine entertain your hands until the glasses and mugs are dry    You blink and she's still staring and you're not sure of what to say so you tell her everything except for what you want to    You don't know how to interpret any more than the back of her hands     She's gone now    And before she went you said goodbye    A cold porch under your bedroom-feet and her in boots from Canada    And you wanted to raise your voice to bridge the distance but you realised that she speaks only in whispers    So you're here on this bed that she passed by once    You're here on this bed with bones and a bare mattress in a crowded city that she once drifted through

This is How

Recorded by Kieran Ruffles (RRR Studio) for Going Down Swinging, read by Allison Browning. Published in Going Down Swinging edition 34 and in Rabbit edition 2.