Like a stuntman swept over Niagara’s agitation,
heart hammering in a bouncing barrel,
watched from safety by a shivering crowd
instead of being just another face in it,
he thinks the voyeur’s existence a waste
as we end up sealed in a box, stilled.
An expensive shirt he said he bought,
sleeker and sexier than his usual choice,
phone conversations oddly explained,
a surging current powering him headlong,
reminiscent of youthful risks taken.
A woman as furious and frightened
as a train driver seeing a ruined track
rush towards her, the brake shrieking.
Her waiting children eerily solicitous,
the breathy sound of their movements
like the beating of moth wings,
haunting the rooms of their home
that looks unchanged but isn’t
as she drags medication’s sheet anchor.
Anguish at the other end of that phone, too,
another atrophying heart craving sustenance
in this throbbing status quo upheaval
which bequeaths memories like stains traced,
cat purring, radio murmuring, cups of tea,
wallowing through ticking afternoons
in this narrative from the chaos of yearning.
Ian C Smith’s work has appeared in Axon:Creative Explorations,The Best Australian Poetry, London Grip, Poetry Salzburg Review, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, The Weekend Australian,& Westerly His latest book is Here Where I Work,Ginninderra Press (Adelaide). He lives in the Gippsland Lakes area of Victoria, Australia.