Stella, Streetwise

Beach_Tung Ping Chau_2016

She took a full step, then a full stop.
Her attention? It had suddenly taken root — no,
not in retail but some tiny aspect in the footpath.
There they were, in a meandering crack
outside the Urban Grind café,
three miniature stars
forming the glittering crossbar
of Orion’s belt. Inwardly,
she joked to herself: Seeing stars again,
are we? For someone deep in the pockets
of Western sadness, the half-smile
in the tight corners of her face
was worth a whole kilometre of Brisbane frangipanis.
Rising, setting, orbit: her moods too
were celestial bodies: to spend a day
on some of them lasted enormous Earth years —
dust thick on the floors of craters.
How I wonder what you are! she sang to herself
inside a buoyant thought balloon, this
umbilical lullaby bedding her deeper in detail,
star-craving mad:
Down below the world so low,
like three diamonds in a row . . . No,
not diamonds, the sparkle of plate-glass windows,
impassive as an armed guard;
more like beacons pointing, absurdly, to some human interest
in a place where naturally (cigarette butts, saliva,
chewing gum, blood-stains) it was last
and least expected. She laughed out loud
at her down-mood then, told it to get lost for a while
and fast: Go pick on someone, your own sighs!
And the bougainvillea regalia twined in industrial fencing
over the road behind the bus-stop
just had to laugh through its pink flowers with her. Yes!
Good on you!