The car’s dorsal wave carves off
a place neither here nor there; the highway’s
undertow drags at details
threshed from their commerce, tricked
into shapes elemental as furniture
in a house where we lived as children.
in frantic tessellations
beneath morning’s cellophane moon
white on grey swerving over pallid paddocks
as if the high cloud had been shredded
by the landscape’s languid gestures.
Cabins rust in dewy lineaments
their bulk emerging broad-backed
like cattle at dawn: knife guards and rasp bars
dragged from their duties, augers
forgetting their harvest, the conveyer chain
a tilde over their stilled senescence.
Only the gatherer belt insists on a fit
purposive as a flint chip
as if knowing that the sun —
like a chorister’s high note,
a pinpoint on the cutter bar,
in this field under dawn beside the highway —
will always shine through.
‘The Disappearing’ Project, Red Room November 2012