Them

You can’t swat them

with yr hand.

                       spray them

with disinfectant.

                                      or repel them

with incense coils.

They won’t buy it.

And you can’t

                      shut them out.

Not even

                                                          in yr room

at night.

Bite.    Bite.       Bite.

They whinge and they whine.

Those old anxieties, What ifs?

Those mozzies                     of yr mind.

The Case

You can bring the case in if you like, she says.

It may not want to come in, he says.

It’s a suitcase, she says. They don’t have a voice.

This one does, he says.

He goes out the door, to the car, where he lifts the lid of the boot. He looks at the suitcase for a few minutes.

What are you doing? she says. Talking to it?

Listening. It doesn’t want to come in.

Why not?

You know why not. Things deteriorate. We argue, say things that no one should say to another. I storm out, or you tell me to leave. It’s almost routine.

They look at each other, They have been here so many times before.

So what does the suitcase say? she asks.

It’s staying. In the boot , he says. It’s adamant about that.

How can a suitcase be adamant?

I’m ready for a quick getaway, it says.

Suit yourself.

That’s a bad joke, he says.

So you coming in?

I suppose so, just as soon as I close the boot.

Seized

You went after that photo like it was prey, she said. You were a fox, a panther, ferocious, determined.

You make it sound heroic.

It was also stupid, she snapped. There was no place to stop. You could have been hit by a car, that blue sedan in the photo, for instance, that beeped you to get off the road,

There was no other way, I said.

You could have let it go.

Never, When you are seized, you have no choice. You go after it like Amy Winehouse goes after the chorus of ‘Valerie’ or Eric Clapton the elation chords of ‘Layla’. There is total surrender to the feeling.The pursuit is everything.

The photo isn’t even that good, she said.

I got what I wanted. The sign. I would have climbed a precipice to get it

Sometimes I don’t understand you, she said.

Come on, I said, grabbing her hand, as we hopped back in the car and continued our journey, that sign disappearing in the rear-view