there’s a Subway across the street


fettered shutters grimy rolls of yellow-green paper roil like snake skins



in this little slice of the world street corners are reserved for art suppliers


and chic french cafés




Subways have to make do with the lean side-street pickings they can get


and unfortunately not all of us can subsist on last year’s sterling silver




let me see


i’m twenty-three years old and


i haven’t shaved in five years


but mum still calls me her sugar-pea




i have a fiancé, i think but i haven’t met her yet

dave I used to play soccer with nice bloke


he spends his evenings behind bars of 6-inch bread


it’s good money, man


and I could count the years in his forehead when he frowned




in these purple moments


just in the cracks between words


i think of paris and


the cash register groans


c’est la vie


the streetlamp flickers


c’est la vie




i wonder if they have Subway in paris


malgré qu’on ne sache pas


les secondes pensées ont de coutume d’être plus nettes


que les premières




the glowing maw opens on me now


in a salami smile


with a tongue of meatball melt


i don’t go in


eliot would be proud




i don’t go in


though hands pat uneasily at my stomach


with nails rough and stained yellow like a loved tarpaulin


i don’t imagine it’s the tarpaulin my mother imagined for me


as she held me


as the deepest reaches of the morning hold me


as I now clutch to my corrugated-plastic 7-11 slurpee




there’s something wicked about the allure of fast-food at 3am


when the night seems too flat and too cold and far too old for anything as mundane


as a footlong sub

We acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land on which Woroni, Woroni Radio and Woroni TV are created, edited, published, printed and distributed. We pay our respects to Elders past and present. We acknowledge that the name Woroni was taken from the Wadi Wadi Nation without permission, and we are striving to do better for future reconciliation.