Traveling west, the distance is
measured by crows tallying death
along the highway.
Silos and small towns interrupt
the sameness and hectares of
Mitchell grass wave us on our way.
Forearms fall victim to
the meat ant sting of sun; as we navigate hours
with laughter and Dylan.
Then dusk folds up and
the weight of day is lost
to the brilliance of stars.
Our tired bodies stretch out
beneath crisp cotton sheets; our minds
in a landscape of silence.
The main street of town is still sleeping,
the only signs of life, a dog huddled at the pub door
like a drunk hanging onto last drinks
and a kitehawk riding the back of a thermal,
preparing to round up last night’s casualties.
In the early morning chill, the river is bath water warm;
eucalypt branches reach their aching arms through
the ghostly rise of sulphuric steam.
On the edge of town, light blushes paddock grass
and ignites the tree tops. Galahs squawk for position
on powerlines, breaking open the day.