And you?
You’re a cafe
with retro decor
On the wall
you have a picture
of Audrey Hepburn
as Holly Golightly
wearing that dress
showing you
in black
and white

You know
that Audrey is dead
and Holly lived only
in Capote’s mind
Neither of them
will ever
come in

Each woman
who comes in
has a coffee at one
of your little tables
Maybe your faded formica surface
and chrome edges and screws
feel like her mother
and father

She raises
your warm black cup
Considers the froth
the white heart
you’ve drawn for her
Puts her mouth to it
Sucks it
to an abstract

as Audrey
and Holly
from your wall

First published in Uneven Floor.
An earlier version was commended in the 2013 Melbourne Poets Union International Poetry Competition.

How long?

How long, how long, how long, how long, to sing this song?
— U2, channelling the Psalmist

The music's cruisy     trancy     wordless

The father walks away
from the mother
On the father's hip the baby cries Mamma Mamma
The father walks away
so the mother can do
the workshop
On the father's hip the baby cries Mamma Mamma

Is he old enough already
to learn that his mum
is a person?

Or is he young enough still
to learn that Mother
is not

Now the music
is American hiphop
Niggaz bitchez
money in yo pocketz

The father comes back
with the baby
The mother is dancing
The music's cruisy again
The baby? Silent

Mamma, Mamma — a moment?
Mamma, Mamma — eternity?
Mamma, Mamma —
how long?

First published in Poetry Matters