Northcote Epiphany

As I walk past
the Antiochan Orthodox Church
a warm rich cloud
of many people singing together

Outside a man in his only suit
smoking, hand in pocket
shoulder curved against a bitter wind
from Antarctica

He nods at me
the same question in his eyes
I answer him with a quarter smile
and keep walking

I decide to go to Castlemaine
because I like how the people in Melbourne say ‘Castle’
but also to escape
my tightly knotted thoughts

On the train my mind’s fingers endlessly trace the threads
by the dark empty clack
of metal on metal

In the soft white air of oblivious day trippers
I stoke that raging bushfire for a distant Dieman
the only thing keeping me warm
in these looping grey days

And then, just like that
I stamp it out –
My inside forest is charred and black
and needs time to regrow

In a small Indian restaurant a small Indian woman
who knows the beauty of these lamb cutlets
places them before me
and prays I see it too

As I eat
drenched in a turmeric light
it occurs to me
that I am a god.

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