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