Loading Zone

by Jane Frank

In the early hours of this morning the favourite character I flee
to for escape was shot so today I am grieving.

Instead of mouthing the lyrics of the eighties song I know by rote
playing in the coffee shop, I imagine how many

souls (real? Or not?) float between me and that deciduous tree on
the far side of the street, if the tiny balls of light

that Tinkerbell dance in empty space between are fluorescent
echoes seeping through the rice paper pages

that separate us from another place. This one: a slim novella in a
meta story. When I turned 50, I decided that

medical diagnoses are messages – I have a constant heaviness
inside my chest like a clenched fist. Text just

appears – in a centred format – scrolls across each crisp morning
now so life is band aided with caveats and the

beautiful is viewed through ever-narrower windows. Doing the
‘right thing’ doesn’t mean all will ‘go well’ –

when I returned to the loading zone where I had abandoned my
car there was no ticket and the words, for a minute,

stopped rolling like film credits from a cobalt sky. I glanced up to
see a scallop of moon smirking above the high

tips of eucalypts; strangely understood that coincidence is merely
a synonym for the clouds momentarily parting.

Jane Frank lives and writes in Brisbane. Recent poems have appeared in Not Very Quiet, Stilts Journal, Algebra of Owls and The Poets’ Republic and others are forthcoming in Antipodes, Meniscus and a new anthology — Pale Fire: New Writings on the Moon (The Frogmore Press, 2019). She teaches in creative writing and literary studies at Griffith University.