Hope Road

-after Garcia Lorca

In grey sand on Hope Road, is where she laid, she was not asleep,
the earth was no longer flat.
A dragonfly sniffed the truck fumes, she was not asleep.
And a comb eared skink bit through the bedsheets
of the men who do not dream.
Inside the red festoon, trespassing was a kind of parallel.
Here the surveyors’ spirit was broken
and the unbelievable turtle was quiet beneath the tender mud of protest.

Nobody is asleep under the truck on Hope Road, nobody.
Barbara’s thin fingers’ play piano on the steel diff,
wrists locked, her biceps burn above a graveyard
that still moan because of the first ship
and not even the dogs could out-howl the cries.

In grey sand on Hope Road, is where she laid, she was not asleep.
She looked me in the eye and looked me in the eye,
after she ran from the beating cajon
breadcrumbs flew from her shoe entrails
and the dry husks fill her hair
and she was given a thicket of reeds for a pillow.

Careful! Careful! There are phone apps for that secrecy,
there are sentry’s, listening blockers and white ibis wading.
There is a young woman testing her soul against the monitor,
her heart thuds over the electric pulse,
her flesh hydraulic in the dark, as dark as a raven.
We trade smiles after the engine was disabled.
Uniforms arrive with trousers’ creased.
The man in blue rubbed against axle grease.

Under the truck on Hope Road, metres from Bibra Lake
Barbara finds that her fears become dreams
and her forgetfulness does not exist.
A water gulp eases the machine heat
and the geo-readout shows vector veins
in the chlorophyll of gum nuts. Careful!

In grey sand on Hope Road, is where she laid, she was not asleep.
Nobody could have slept through the protest,
those who stood in front of the bulldozers kept everyone awake
and those who closed their eyes
allowed the landscape of cameras;
and there the bitter wounds began.
I have said this before,
but this time I will listen.

J. P. Quinton. Beeliar Wetlands December 15 2016.

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