Traces – Danijela Kambaskovic-Sawers

Driving the length of the M5
from Canberra to Sydney,
then through the slanting light and shadow
across The Harbour Bridge,
evening wind in my face,
and The Opera House
mine below me
like a secret lover’s face, real but unreal,
I clear the looming buildings, too close for comfort,
my small-town eyes awed, and race
past the royal blue walls
of renovated terraces
and cafes
hawking passionfruit milkshakes
to bat-winged, layer-cut crowds.
I lust for Belvoir Theatre, Thai on Wok, basil sorbets
and other decadent night lights, there
to awaken my senses,
I never dreamed I’d disappear. But I did.
Sidney— commitophobe/ cool-cat
lost me to Perth
who promised to love me forever,
and gave his well-spaced blocks, good beaches,
his fresh fish-and-chips on the shoulder, his yearning,
his value for money and expensive hobbies,
the rainbow of his arm across my body
and the truth
which I grew to want
as one wants home food or a good marriage
with hunger quiet but growing.
I may have left some traces glowing
across sourdough Glebe, the seedy CBD,
up Macquarie Uni, down Kissing Point Road— but—
I find I’m gone.