There’s sunlight glancing off the lowered
Church Street’s absurdist motorcade,
downgraded to a purring
intermittence in the afternoon lull.
I spot a ripple in the doorway
and air conditioning duke it out
to the buzzing omniscience
of radio ads – Coke, they tell me, is love.
All the marble slabs have frosted
over. Busywork –
I scrape a clean wet rectangle,
body weight pushed into
the scraper, powdery ice filings piling up.
But nobody comes. Not even the kids
who rip open their Velcro
Rip Curl wallets, asking for skittle
and gummi bear mix-ins in their
ice-cream: cookies ‘n’ cream and bubble gum.
The dull chink of battered scoops,
swirled in water and chlorine.
Fruit flies – cryogenic in the tub
of banana ripple. The sound
of the freezer’s motor, labouring in the sun.
When my boss comes back I’ll take my cash
straight to JB Hi-Fi –
spend it on CDs. Then up
the road to Oporto,
pretending not to see the local bum.
But there’s no rush. I watch an icy
growth blur away
the square I cleared; the scent of failed
waffle cones in the bin
at my feet. Contented in the muted hum.