At eight in the morning the city exhales its gritty breath

laced with the odour of standing rubbish

and lagered dew dripping down walls.

Outside my front door, I become aware

while walking the semiotic streets of so many needs

I didn’t know I had last night. They call from billboards

and shout from the sides of buses,

their sound and colours blurring with the Doppler Shift.

When I reach the station, I feel so inferior

to the people in the advertisements

with their perfect lives that I shrink inside the train.

Published in Antipodes

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