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Civic Duty

Rosalie, Brisbane


Each day’s late fee

is one more day

in business. Walk the aisles

making mantras of titles,

shuffle worn carpet,

thumb static horror

blurbs in Papyrus:

finite options; infinite terror.


Stocked with boxed ways

to avoid going out,

our last local refuge of

streetpress dregs and special

favourite-members’ deals.

We no longer need to flash our card

to revisit films we rented once

or just once more – their covers,

like windows or tombstones.


But one day Civic Video

will close and on that day

there will be nothing:

neon-gone – a glowing

museum set piece.


Whatever killed the dinosaurs

is killing Civics. Already paleozoic,

Blockbuster never saw Rosalie

craft an ark of empty video cases.


A little more home

with each hole punched

in that loyalty card

we never end up

cashing in.

Go to Zenobia Frost's profile to read more poems