• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 12
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The Pink City at Height

In my maladaptive daydreams,
I watch the shrinking cityscape
through neon-tinted lens.

I'm a nuclear ape, you see:
shredded out from mortal vestments
into a muscle-bound beast
with no limits. I reign terror:
stampede pot-holes into the main roads
(that the council will never refill),
or steal a blonde woman (conventionally
attractive only). I'll cradle her away from
the disappearing surface of her world,
her dull routine, like an uncrushed flower
in one palm: the other used to climb, meanwhile,
a TV tower like the tallest canopic tree.

And I'm sat on the tower's edge,
no ape hypertrophied in sight.
I'm the blond woman now, I realise:
gazing at shellaced red nails on beds,
cyanosing. My unstilletoed toes wriggle
experimentally... in the lonely breeze.

I mourn the existence awaited to me
by gravity. I, the unnamed heroine, work
a 9-5 reception at the tower's foot:
the conglomerate's hubris.
The higher ups keep building it
as a shard to break the sky.

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The Pink City at Height

The horizon tantalises
a stretch of life beyond
which I can conceive.
When was the last paid leave?
How come I never journeyed
down under, like I'd childhood dreamed?
Verified, by way of direct sight:
if the kangaroo was real?

I'm pondering the logistics
of a joey's existence when I feel
the presence watching me.
I turn behind me to a black-and-white boy,
dressed in uniform from times pre-colour TV.
I suppose he is a paper boy, as he waves
a rolled-up newspaper under my nose.

I shake my head to decline: he sighs.
He buckles his knees and jumps
off the edge: a perfect parabola
peaking into nothingness...
into a twinkle in the stratosphere.

He is up there a while, and I begin
to fear for his infernal descent,
envisioning his fate surely
as a sidewalk splatter that'll
be nothing more than a pedestrian's
inconvenience.

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The Pink City at Height

But then, in the distance:
a window magnifies from an apartment's one,
but this must surely be to another reality.
Because in this world of saturated rose,
the glass offers a glimpse of green.

And I can see a real tree shaking in it.
And I can see a hopping kangaroo.
And the scene that I saw ahead
was nothing as I'd dreamed.

And I gaze into the sky and see
the a boy, coasting down with ease:
cutting through the clouds: superhero
returning from the fight.

He lands as a feather, softly.
He puts his best foot forward
into the window's green.
He looks at me and extends a hand
of paper pointed one last time
before he disappears to another world
to proffer sentences in pink.

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