outside on the dirty bench we eat oysters and walnut bread in a dream of the oysters and
walnut bread we would eat.

the constant dust gets us down
sneezing      having to      smiling the whole time
fill paper bags or else      hard jars
dark and gripping—
the dramatic
nothing      the airless
grievance      the daily      hourly

once complete the completing will recommence

eye for an eye      fragment for
deliberate fragment      something
for nothing      the
asymmetrical self-

This is
the distance from reason          there
go the years      there goes the logic of
lengths we would go to.

A throaty image.

It’ll hit us so hard we’ll throw up our mothers’ milk.

Smiling the whole time      noiseless dawn: Cinnamon
is finite. Memory is the ugliest of the Muses. These are putatively adequate and commensurable systems of exchange.

Death is the picture of dad breaking on everything else

Thursdays go like this

Is this casually permanent or none of
my business?

It is both
It is neither

It was clearly poorly timed      Resources seemed endlessly diverted      This loop
is called feed

dirty bench
[  ]
[   ] [  ]

Ling Toong writes poetry and prose. Her most recent work has been published in journals such as Australian Poetry Journal, Rabbit and Cordite. She was one of the featured poets in Rabbit + Heide, House of Ideas: Modern Women 2021; and Renee So: Provenance at Monash University Museum of Art in 2023.