Dorothy Porter: 'Overture' from Carmen
Three days of heatwave,
A hot lid of dinning cicadas.
At night only a flock of bats lifts
__and flies across a hot scrap of moon.
Colours flow hot and slow like lava;
__the sea is never cold
__shining like the bluish basking belly
____of a snake.
Even mauve smoky twilight scratches along the skin
__behind the eyes
__like a hot thorn.
A black and white butterfly
__floats past a bright orange weed
____that flutters hungrily
______like a fly-trap.
Around an oozing broken pipe
____ogling the milky water
______that gives off a green stink.
The road is empty
__but for the bright disturbing green feathers
____of a rainbow lorikeet
______smeared across the hot bitumen.
But. Look now.
There's a white light
______glancing off the water;
a spatter of rain
hisses on the road
and wafts up
__in a dew of dust and petrol;
flecks of parrot piss float
__from a luxuriant blossoming gum;
__in this fierce light
__hurt the most.
__drives with one loose dark hand
__drives a white hot car.