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The Tower

0.
put down the tower of rooms you carry
            summit to summit like a boulder
home is a leaking cup               never filling but can be
            sheltered in when everything turns up
somewhere to go on clapping              like a tongue
            around the hand scoop of empty         where
we once thought they watched over us
            but looked up to see the slow wink
                                    of cameras and
construction cranes
 
1.        
a summer worked in an office so air conditioned
you had to hold           a mug of repeatedly boiled water
to bend your fingers far enough           to type and
were shot awake          forehead smacking
                                                            in
                                                            to
                                                            the       desk
no one else seemed to feel
the agonising chill so you                                             said nothing
                                                                                      as they debated
                                                            the cost of hostile architecture
                      to deter the homeless guy who had taken to sleeping
          in the thin arch of doorway and reading the newspapers
                                                            (can you believe it?)
                                                            you gave your two weeks and felt
                                                            untouchable
months later this employer was
listed on the rental application form
                                                                        I guess they didn’t bother to call
 
2.
                                    out the window the oil heater
reappears on the street             a few doors down                  
                                                  in the kitchen damp rises
                       grease settles    squeezing the cabinets
             at each end until the hinges                  pop                  open
                                                  the trick is to not finish up the last
         sucker standing on the lease     when the roof              caves                in        
                                                            surrounded by possums
                                                            abandoned things of housemates past
                                                            a thousand cables for absent devices
for now you make a monstera leaf      with     your     fingers
say I am scared of being the last generation
left to clean out the shut off refrigerators
exhaling mouldy grief into the world at large
as it curls         an ingrown nail  
                                    deeper
                                    into itself
                                    (deeper)
 
3.
precarity
is the damage
done to knees
after eight hours
                       coiled
on a back seat
a t-shirt wedged in the cracked window
a can of mosquito repellent                 last month
          you scrapped the first car you ever owned
one less engine sharing the troposphere
          $250 cash in hand                    and faith
                       that you’ll keep this roof over their heads
for at least another rattle                                  around
the anthropocene of                not knowing
                          what to say to the dying houseplants
                          greywater falling through their soily sieves
                          leaking across the lino
 

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