Betty Malvern

Betty Malvern with a bee. Here’s my
sisterly path, the secret way. Through
the woods, into the sunlight for a sec.
Token uniform a spot of brown by the
creek. Small whorls of dirt in the clear
water, like washing a coffee cup first
in a sink olf sudsy white, like a beach.
Clouded eyes now, smile erased by a

frown. Moments, moods like that sky in
Austinmer, waiting for a train that came
like three loaves of bread bobbling into
one another. Silence for a moment as
the train stops and she walks into its
sunlight, trapped. Just like that, one
windy afternoon, in the carpark next
to Steelers. Suburbs seen from a train

after rain, like the swollen veins of
old women at the Orthodox Church.
Unknown teenagers there. Lights that
never go out, behind orange window
panes, circles of raised glass like dull
lollies set into them. Somewhere, every
moment of each day in this capital of
steel, an engine is switched on, or off.

American Creek. Why did I have to
go there, follow its source, towards the
top of Mt Nebo? Stupid fence. Jason’s
advice lingering in the still shade. If
you’re going to climb fences, at least
tie your shoelaces. I grinned then,
knowing that I was showing him my
braces but he’s my brother. Shall we

go to school? I’d like to skate away
the metallic Fairy Meadow air, write
tags in the sky. He shows no interest
in bugs, even when both our radios die.
Just packs them up, then checks that
compass but it’s gone haywire in the
radiant heat. Spending the next three
months out here, solo sniper. I prefer

the summer, attend gigs. Minds let
go of learnings, jettison texts, swallow
beverages & go to sleep. Not for us.
We ride the ridge line west up O’Briens
Rd and over Mt Nebo. Shortly the
capital sinks into foggy streetlamps &
the thunderous hum of industry, sparks
& bi-products. Destined for lines, let

loose in carparks, in ghost worlds.
Some never heard from again. Sad
encounters in inner-city bars, clubs
on top floors hinting at grand worlds
suspended above this one, behind one
more closed door, its steel structures
overpinning the station’s, the intercity
bullet’s whine & thrum. Pixels, music.

Yes, it’s Betty. Seeya. Soon, I hope.
The next bullet stops at Spacefields.
From there you can get a shuttle to –
yeah, well I guess you know the drill.
Point me in the direction of a Visual
Biller & you can expect a photo recall
somewhere between Timezone & now.
In the morning. Gas seeing you. Was.

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