Academic journal article Hecate

Malingering

Academic journal article Hecate

Malingering

Article excerpt

1.

This city is a map

a point in a map of cities sailing clear off the straight edge of the known, flat world. The idea of infinity is sudden and full of female holes, told to me by the amorphous green knitting of my mother; from the city to the country she wove, a wounded fabric, dropping lives like stitches.

`But where does it end?' I pleaded, open as a saucer.

`Never!' she smiled, casting on.

If mothers could knit cities, daughters could find their way.

2.

Now, sprung from the rat trap house,

(Another stranger, another sullen flop-eyed boy who says, married or rich, that's your choice)

Thin as a cat, ribs rubbing, sore from the nights spit & yowl,

Malingering

with intent.

Sunset gives its inward turning hum to things, releasing hard edges, the terrible windy singularity of autumn.

I see: a red bus, a new car, old meat, a fresh apple nested in garbage.

I see: a beat-up woman, gravel winking, cracks skipping and a truck, lumbering, beetle-like, on the brow of the hill.

I see: a bike spinning insect-whirrs of the pavement, energy cast off and grating.

I see: a pram, vulnerable and spiny in thickets of refuse, tangled, born, a baby-thing made silent with embroidery.

One bald beige lid lolling.

A nervous eye.

I see, eye-spy through the knothole fence, a child with red-tongue and spindle legs who grips steers comforts, negotiates pram and doll like a real mother through tin-cans from a wedding voyage, snagged in flaccid loops of garden hose and swallowed by a dull gape of door.

Her mother,

in the gloom, face shadowed arms akimbo over flowered stomach, giving only her body to her assumptions.

Privacy pokes a knitting needle through the fence and I move on. …

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