Nothings changed

Small round hard stones click

under my heels,

seeding grasses thrust

bearded seeds

into trouser cuffs, cans,

trodden on, crunch

in tall, purple-flowering,

amiable weeds

District Six.

No board says it is:

but my feet know,

and my hands,

and the skin about my bones,

and the soft labouring of my lungs,

and the hot, white, inwards turning

anger of my eyes.

Brash with glass,

name flaring like a flag,

it squats

in the grass and weeds,

incipient Port Jackson trees:

new, up-market, haute cuisine,

guard at the gatepost,

whites only inn.

No sign says it is:

but we know where we belong.

I press my nose

to the clear panes, know,

before I see them, there will be

crushed ice white glass,

linen falls,

the single rose.

Down the road,

working man’s cafe sells

bunny chows.

Take it with you, eat

it at a plastic table’s top,

wipe your fingers on your jeans,

spit a little on the floor:

it’s in the bone.

I back from the


boy again,

leaving small mean O

of small mean mouth.

Hands burn

for a stone, a bomb,

to shiver down the glass.

Nothing’s changed.

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