Words apart

Across the wide Carlton street, from where I stand, two words lean casually against a wrought iron fence. They glance occasionally back and forth along the street, their eyes narrow, their focus distant – as if scoping to hitch a ride on some passerby’s tongue – then down at the footpath, their own fingernails, and, rarely, and without lingering, at me.

Five or six letters each, it seems, though I can’t quite say. The height of a child’s bicycle, and disproportionately narrow. Workmates, perhaps long-time collaborators, yet ready to separate should the right opportunity present; and expecting as much.

Vaguely… vaguely, they are my words. Somehow cast into a wider orbit. My head feels less heavy for their distance. My mind can make out a little more of its own contour. It watches these two characters with detached curiosity, without fascination.