5 AM

by Isi Unikowski
Only a currawong dialing the neighbourhood
only the moon I heard ring off the glass mountains
as it rose between the streetlight and the stars
woodcut in frost: a made silence

not stretched like a trellis between appliances;
the world adjusting itself, an actor
before the lights come on, the morning thrown
like a newspaper over lawns riffled as oyster beds

- not a car here starts simply, without a cigarette,
without grinding its teeth – an ordained silence,
its hawsers hanging like a bridge’s bights
over an illuminated tedium of ferries and cranes

the way the sound of a runabout’s motor
clatters over water, recognised yet different,
as if stood up, perpendicular to its element,
the lake’s soft platform; a viaduct

for benedictions whispered over the top of thought:
the mind, brushed by the liturgy, rediscovers
itself in the space between words, the rest
between notes, mortise for its movement
our stolid pace into the afternoon hitched halfway
into the higher suburbs, an air raised by its passage.

Someone from the early shift hurries for the bus:
that slender gesture of obedient reception,
fingers to ears, nothing more
than the retention of an earpiece.
Isi Unikowski is a public servant who works for the Australian Government and lives in Canberra.

© 2010, Isi Unikowski