knuckles down against the street
praying for change
to keep things the same
whilst his friends watch on.

he’s collecting coins for everyone.
a dollar sixty closer to a drink.






she’s down from queensland.
her breath smells like wine,
but so does mine after
i’ve been drinking.

crocodile skin
around her hat
and leather boots.

one of her boyfriends is in jail
and the other “did a runner”.

she’s half chinese, half aboriginal.

i ask:
“what are you doing today, chilling?”
she responds:
“chilling, with wine soon”.







jack and john want a photo too.
jack tells john to quit
lying about his name.

damaged veins
and camaraderie.

the story is always
in the eyes.

i give them a card, he tells me
he can email me from the library.

i never get an email.







her eyes are barely open.
she dances for me
in that moment
there is a glimpse of joy.

four kids mutter something
disparaging under their breath.
she defends her friend
and yells at them:

…never be judgemental
never be judgemental
never be judgemental.

– jw