MAGGY LIU
19 years old
University of Melbourne

guess what,
mother,
people are packed closer here

foreign bodies stick together
under putrid heat
I can barely breathe
as the crowded tram
crawls up swanston street

and the boy
with sharp elbows
digging into me
is tethered to sanity
through lime-green earphones
that barely blocks out
6pm traffic
and all these strange heart beats

sadly,
mother,
there is more distance here

who knew
roaming the streets
can be this lonely
walking past
steel-eyed businessmen
and teenagers with costumed-skin
all I can see
are painted masks
and potential lovers
engaged in this formal dance
that you have never taught me

in this big city
the size of a small country
I have lost myself
and found no one else

cultural capital
they claim

city of indifference
I reply

This poem is part of the TEARAWAY Young Poets feature for National Poetry Day.

The Common Room

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