Mobile Home Park

Ralf Webb

The mobile home park is stale
and tightly packed, like a deck
of cards soaked in lager. Antennae
surge from every bitumen roof,
doubling and trebling in size,
outbidding one another for
the attention of satellites, which
are foreign and incomprehensible.
Which are well made.
Their relays assemble landscapes
within pine-walled rooms:
frontierless superhighways, white
beachfront, tracts of high-definition
rainforest. The residents are made
smaller in this visual netting.

Bird feeders are nailed slant
to guttering, but fail to attract
anything welcome. Magpies, mostly.
Loafing bulldogs are hit into chasing
them. When the dogs refuse,
the feeders are removed. Tossed
across the perimeter, among alkaline
dirt, bindweed, bullied-from shoes.
Designs have a way of short-circuiting
like this: unfinished piping creates
an artificial stream. In rain, it runs
like thick cable. Some nights,
a figure sits with their bare feet
in the water, which turn quiet
and black, like pieces of sunken flint.