Unexpectedly, the sun breaks past the grey clouds
in Daylesford where he has escaped
for a few days - broke,
hung-over, drugs slowly leaving his system like the last snails
after a night’s rain. Sunlight
and liquid movement create a shimmering effect
across the lake's surface, as if a million jeweled insects
rest before dusk and fan their wings upon the water.
On the return train-trip to Carlton, he jots
in his notebook, the new pen
scratching pleasures, catching
old fleas that fall as words
onto the paper. The train’s jiggly movement along the rails
and the reflection in the dirty glass
bring dislocation, thoughts and memories
jumble, expose themselves haphazardly.
At some point he becomes conscious
of the girl across from him
who watches as he writes. He has noticed her bare
knees, her swan neck and long fingers with unpainted nails
that occasionally tap
the ledge between window and the outside world.
As the fields surrender to duplicated houses
arranged in different angles
to express a non-conformity
that does not exist,
he pretends to read his notes while trying to conjure
a word or two to say. He senses the girl when she bails;
she forsakes the carriage; a faint waft
of her musk scent left behind
and he pauses, words forgotten as his left eyelid
gives a twitch. He feels a fragment of his heart
slip away, a doe disappearing
into the shadowed depths of a hunter’s forest.
Wolf and prey both forever doom him.