Every house in Canberra
sits back from doting roads designed
like pubic hair. Crab sedans
are a short curl from work.
It’s not like Melbourne at night
where cars passing
feel their engines threatened
& growl at stiff pedestrians.
Here taxis actually idle like cats
seducing the feral proletariat,
& police sirens yawn in nervous crests
like study partners before an exam.
The pizza delivery guy has five sleeves
to kill five callers at one hotel.
My mate arrives at dawn
having hitch-hiked from Adelaide,
across a diagonal Nullabor.
We pull down a termite hill of grass
& look up for the smoke alarm
we ought to steal.
Strewn upon the table
it looks like this city,
a sleepy pillbox with tentacles.