The fish man is coming, the fish man!
The cats stalk the gravel
and wait for the ice-covered skeletons to melt.
Their eyes curl cross-eyed and their tails
hook like umbrella handles
as a woman buys prawns bitingly striped.
But today they will wait forever for the sheets of ice
to unravel;
the fish man is gone.

Torn between two feelings
one hunts for a smell not quite wiped from his mind,
while the other wallops in the sun
keeping alert one bright cat eye.

I watch from behind the blinds
feeling out of place.
Friday in the suburbs and a peculiar light
seems to trick all the houses into children’s blocks
hiding dormant housewives.

I walk from
window to window in the porchside room
watching the cats and women appear
and reappear like slick, pale candles in a heat mirage.

The only solid things in a mile of street
are the round, green
in the fruitman’s car.

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