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The coots

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Coots patrol the lagoon –
baptise themselves beneath its wrinkled
cellophane. Marks on their foreheads

like it’s a sign of faith
that each puncturing will push hunger
ever deeper down. Morning now,

and the overnight rain
that conspired with worry and tiredness
to make sleeping a dream at best

is smeared above houses
in stretches of expired lavender,
or pooled below the black and white

of coots at their worship,
bowing graciously before the sun
as though water were their temple.

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