Monday, October 4, 2010


Milling about the city’s nightlife,
she threads through the quilted crowd
who rug themselves up, flattering
each others’ leathers and wispy flair.
She stands on the fringe like a lost
strand of hair listening to the needles,
the knit-knot words, the pinning-up of
phrases — cottoning on to their lingo.
She’s ready to be brushed aside
when some guy’s quip poufs her up
like a pillow, and she responds by
chewing a ball of fluff because, for
some fuzzy reason, she wants his hide.
sewing what’s left of her heart to
her sleeve — a threadbare cliché that
his quiff-like puns pierce like
a pin-cushion. With conversation
wearing thin, his hand reaching for
her velvet, she remembers the lint
piling up in the corners of her
apartment; the frayed curtains she’s
never closed on her view of the city.
She can see it now from her bedroom
window: the silhouetted skyline, a
tattered hem; the stars, little white
cross-stitches forming a sky of blind
eyes; and rolling over Centrepoint,
the moon, a silver ball of wool,

(previously published on the Red Room, 2010, and
in Best Australian Poems 2011, ed. John Tranter)