You forget about it, sometimes.
The open-cut of this place, how each day
feels as sticky and measured as cough syrup.
A curly child dips from her mother's black sleeve
like a teabag.
You forget the metallic tang
of vanilla deodorant and chalk dust, the open cut
Outside the Sports Club
blue backpacks bob and murmur
and station wagons herringbone the one-way streets.
You forget, sometimes,
writing hours of lamplit letters,
as if you could pin yourself against them.
The classroom doors swollen under the humidity of hormones.
Chewing brittle fingernails,
The buses grunt towards a funeral parlour
that offers NRL-themed coffins,
biodegradable and carbon-neutral.
You learn to forget the things
that jostle and bruise inside blue backpacks
and are never unbattered again.