After the Headlines
A city's candy lights are seen through cataracts.
At dusk, the quay shimmers, conceals its mystery.
Juanita, the dead model, suicides off The Gap
seem nothing in comparison to the ferry's claim.
After the news, I dreamt about the pleasure boat,
water gushing starboard, the sudden amputation,
a figure skater's dress ballooning as she drowned
with a last pirouette to perfect her disappearance.
It wasn't a spectacle, or a Greek tragedy, but sad
to think of her body decomposing, a fine residue
of minerals for plankton and algae, for curious fish.
Days before there was a plane crash in Jogjakarta.
Award winning journalists were burnt alive like fuel
for media barons and technophiles. It's strange
how we crave the visual, buying and selling images
of tsunamis, flash flooding, avian flu epidemics.
I heard patients in the waiting room speak about
this latest disaster, as if fate's occasion signalled
some compelling universal law that I should dread.
Sitting at my desk, I scanned the day's reports,
checking blood counts, electrolytes, cardiographs.
Whatever I've learnt in medicine, something slips
from the palanquin, refusing death, revived by more
than IV adrenaline, narcaine or shock can provide.
We each return to the dream-factory, like screen
designers, reinventing the myths of what we are.
By Michelle CahillQLRS Vol. 7 No. 4 Oct 2008