Stripes of dry land trapped 
      beneath a pale halogen daymurk.

The cities of Pau 
      teem with anchors 
      of all persuasions, 
      latching onto protruding 
      rusted vehicle parts and 
      the hind treads of mopeds, 
      vine-like and all-pervasive. 

The innards of the sea's communication channels 
      clamp fast to a series 
      of dry wharves 
      and makeshift station platforms, 
      interconnecting with the steel rain.

Pau Station, mainline,
      midway between Palmerston Sprawl 
      and the nominal city.
Terminus of the now-extinct 
      east–west line.

Pigmented sunshades 
      and the abundance of tarpaulins.
Corrugated iron huts 
      and the humanity of a hawker 
      at the invisible entrance. 

One’s only reminder 
      a faint nagging at consciousness, 
      feeding straight into the cerebral cortex, 
      its dreams. 

Snapshot memory of 
      a shadow that was missing 
      when you looked down that street 
      and saw instead a long, 
      empty plane perpendicular.

Beyond it, the rustling of animated leaves.

Pau rearrives
      and leaves simultaneously, 
      climbing overpasses to nowhere, 
      traveller's lights. 

Toxic rearrangements 
      of carbon-credit frontier passes.

Boot camp at the base, 
      a ten-to-one chance of white out, 
      or hallucinations. 

Then Velo’s bento-box skyline 
      looming out of the campfire 
      flames and dust.

Or Vera’s green-light explosions 
      as background noise, 
      bringing whiplash 
      and auditory overload. 

Pau, injecting a new sense 
      of speed into the latticed veins 
      of the roadhouse nation, 
      at once destroying the notion 
      that all good things survive 
      on information drugs, 
      like blue, 
      or the code. 

Breathing in the hard drug 
      called reality in
      the magnetised field of a bivouac, 
      something clicked in the mind
      and the forcefield became rare. 

Suddenly submerged in 
      the sub-strata of steps 
      and shadows surrounding 
      the station 
      stuffed with 
      subterranean sea light. 

Tidal slow-motion 
      demonstrating grave tugs 
      of the moon on the ocean’s sleeve, 
      impossible to ignore. 

A child’s rhyme morphs into 
      the shoreline’s advancing roar and hiss, 
      returning with fresh news 
      of the moon 
      every heartbeat. 

The humming of a droid 
      electric, poised behind 
      a mooring line, 
      its left eye sparkling 
      in the diamond dark, 
      stylised to the nth proportional.

Mooring towers spewing 
      coolant into the mangrove 
      reaches of scrap stealers.

Beginnings of the long atom bends, 
      arriving cold and witless at a plateau 
      mindless, where the wind 
      is magnetic and noise colours. 

Tidal stations and their arrivals.
Stunted declensions of an airtight noun, 
      indelibly stained by fire blasts 
      and amphibian landings. 

Pestilential sunshine casting ingots out of canvas. 

Driveways old and empty, 
      bollards wrapped in multi-coloured wire.