Dysmorphic Land

What will the ground be made of to­day, ce­ment, earth or quick­sand?

The days are deliri­ous and no longer have a name. Bad habits like stay­ing in and re­ject­ing in­vi­ta­tions have be­come pre­scribed and use­ful. There’s a wa­ter drought. Was I ever fluid?

At work in the gar­den is a cow­boy gar­dener. Old trig­gers shoot down new blooms and bring last year’s cares. Collecting blos­soms of op­ti­mism, try­ing to not wear rough gloves oth­er­wise they just crum­ble away. Intense gen­tle­ness is on the do-or-die list.

In my bed­room, I’m a soli­tary teenager again. Manifesting des­tinies and other worlds through the lim­it­less promise of the in­ter­net. On a call to the job­cen­tre the creak of a mat­tress says even the gov­ern­ment is work­ing from bed. A cin­na­mon flavoured in­cense stick masks an­other bad habit.

Nothing is more en­chant­ing than the ne­glected flow­ers that have built com­mu­ni­ties on pol­luted main roads. Every day I visit them.

There’s strange de­bris on the street. All around are used sur­gi­cal masks and chalk rain­bows.

The air blows kisses that smell like petrol and kerosene.

Pinned to every front door is a love let­ter fu­elled by civil dis­obe­di­ence. The sun pours gold on colo­nial ghosts who are des­per­ately try­ing to re­gur­gi­tate their ed­u­ca­tion.

From over the gar­den fence comes parts of a ser­mon or a TedTalk or maybe it’s the neigh­bours talk­ing to each other about how the heart is as lim­it­less as Google maps and ex­ceeds far be­yond the pa­ra­me­ters of that dig­i­tal com­pass.

How to re­treat into the paral­y­sis that has seeped be­yond sleep is a lux­ury not af­forded those who still catch the bus to work at 5am, aged in the decades-old mari­nade of a hos­tile en­vi­ron­ment.

How now that the dust has cleared and in broad day­light stands the pyra­mid of white su­premacy, it’s up to us to re­trieve the bricks that up­hold this cul­tural dis­ease.

My skin is made of la­tex and ethanol but when I watch the news I’m still as porous as the en­trance to Animal Crossing. A re­porter asks now that we’ve tasted the earth, are we will­ing to di­gest its dirt, re­move it from un­der­neath our fin­ger­nails, and wait for it to meta­mor­phose into a tool for change?

Dysmorphic land. What will the ground be made of to­day, ce­ment, earth or quick­sand?