Adam Stokell’s poems have appeared in several journals, including Meanjin, Cordite, Communion, Pink Cover Zine and Plumwood Mountain. His first poetry collection, Peopling The Dirt Patch (A Published Event, 2018), formed part of The People’s Library exhibition at the Long Gallery, Hobart. He lives at Slopen Main on the Tasman Peninsula.
I’ll miss doors.
I’ll miss windows more.
Some doors get made of glass,
get left ajar, alfresco,
giving the blur to the old in/out.
A window is a picnic in the foothills.
Walls check wind and shrapnel.
They aren’t all bad,
they just have a habit of falling
into the wrong hands.
Each wall weighs a tonne
till a window comes along like a sword
of molten sand smiling through.
A hatful of frowning walls is a roof.
Sure, I could punch a hole through the roof
under which I write, glaze it,
but the pineal eye I’ll open
on to the sky will be dumbstruck
by week’s end with bird shit.
Who’ll shed a tear for stairs?
Showers yes, but not the taps
that steer them, not the mirrors
they blind with steam, bitter
with foiled dreams of becoming
My keyring boasts ten keys.
It’s an almost baseless claim.
Only two still talk to their locks.
Why keep eight estranged keys
on hold, weighing down a pocket
wherever I go? Am I expecting
dead cars to resurrect, padlocks lost
and long forgotten to start resurfacing
like childhood dreads? One
key’s so tiny it’s hard to imagine
it ever turned more than a Matchbox ignition.
Two are identical twins – but to what?
Or maybe I’d have you believe I’m flush,
keys jangling as I walk the way coins once clinked
in the pockets and purses of the well-to-do?
Hardly! My wealth is an idling fog.
And even if I ever get round
to uncoupling, disposing of the lockless eight,
I know of no recycling plant
for decommissioned currency.
The waiting room has burst its banks
With a dozen other chronics
I tread the heavy water of the queue
before the queue, shuffling dreads
(only the feeds on my phone
to sustain me, only a script
and a skin-tight face to refer me)
in this seatless foyer giving on
to the waiting room (through a door
above which a clock dawdles
in analogue, past a hessian noticeboard
whose brass tacks / bold fonts proclaim
several brands of support group
but no known cure for waiting