Chinatown Building 3_7 MAR 2020

I ask kids playing in the gutter what the writing in the sky says.
Froggy, they scream, laughing at me
and their own outrageous fart sounds., adds the brashest,
correcting the others,
and puzzling me with his poem.
As I walk into sunset, blinded by glow,
I watch the white letters formed by a pinprick plane
blur slowly to cloud as if written in water
with milk.
Down at the intersection,
Arab girls wearing veils disco dance as they wait to cross.
From the other side of the road, I watch one of them
                     and point into the sky:
Froggy, I lip-read.
Froggy, she says, with a flick of her body
that synchs on the dot with the traffic-light’s shift to green.
Down by the Greek’s, I relearn at first hand
from brilliant geraniums,
the difference between red and real pink
while the solemn space around houses reminds me
that silhouette and the darkness of mountains
exert a more powerful pull
than any conceivable instance of colour,
but best of all,
as those letters lose shape in the fading light,
is that crescent moon
silver with unpaid shine.


Photograph: 澳洲墨爾本唐人街 Chinatown, Melbourne, Australia (2020)


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