Her Latest Trick

She walks between the florist and the panel-beating workshop
with self-assured intent.  Long shirt sleeves rolled up to her elbows
show strong lean forearms, made for labour.  Bare tanned skin
openly faces the bright sun.  There’s something
about the fluid movement in her broad shoulders that spells freedom.
She is ready for (almost) anything.
Dry season living is easy but not cheap.

Harden the fuck up.  You’re in the Pilbara now.

He crawls curb side, safely contained in his battered old Corolla,
front bumper bar half hanging slack.
A soft snail encased in a hard shell.
He leans across the seat, winds down the window and beckons her
like a hopeful FIFO desperado.
Spindly grey whiskers sprout from a full face
flaccid from T-bone and bourbon.

Alone:  he always travels alone.
Walk away or stay and fight?

In that momentary space – one-eighth of an inbreathe,
a heel grazing the pavement – between ignoring or acknowledging
a presence, she pivots left, turning to face him.
Common courtesy prevails.

What about the electricity bill you left without paying?
I know nothing about it.
That’d be right.

An idle mechanic drags happy on his cigarette,
taking a break from late afternoon service.
He pictures an ice-cold ‘Pure Blonde’ cracked open
by a hot skimpy at the nearby sports bar within the hour.

Mmm…..mother’s (breast) milk.

Calm composure evaporates in the arid air,
rising up to the clear blue desert sky.
Later it will fall soft-stealth-silent as dew:
condensation dripping liquid from the eaves.

She spins swift invective over her left shoulder.
The atmosphere gets wet and heavy with angry language.

this place will make you
this place will break you
only if you let it
only if you let it

‘Pure Blonde’ fields her unexpected delivery
on the full, taken aback,
abandoning his amber-ale-reverie.

What the…..?

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