The Smoke Comes

Ruby Thorburn


Everywhere I look,
the eucalypts,
the beachfront,
the gap beneath the laundry door,
everywhere I look,
the smoke comes.

The smoke comes
smothering brains
and lungs
and skins
and teeth
with the thick taste of
burning buildings and
plastic tvs,
a smouldering.

It carries remnants
of wanting too much
in the shadow of not enough
it clings to the things we lived to work for:
all our lives we worked to die for
the big hand of the clock
we tick by for
the debts and the bonds and
a dog we can’t afford and don't have time for but
we need
that breathes
to adore

the smoke tries to choke
pushes into pores
fixing already bent bodies to the shape of business and dollar signs and
the big hand of the clock,
bodies crippled by war
we are soldiers of a capitalist hell
blind and thirsty for a story to tell,
a memory to leave behind in the smoke,

even if it means obediently
each other,
to death.

Smoke thickens and thins
forming silhouettes of ghosts
nearly gone
not quite dissolving
it always comes
never fully goes.

It snakes through the cracks and
hisses behind the walls
It blurs the lines of
friendship and
of money and
of power and
of a dog and
a final sip
of air.

Every place we go the smoke comes
bit by bit,
day by day,

It chokes us
to death.

Ruby Thorburn: Who I am, who we are as individuals does not matter. When we collectivise we begin to organise our way out of capitalism and into another world. This matters.

Title photograph by Ramji (@ramji_creations)

(Dis)solution creates and publishes work to unravel the knots of injustice in the post-end-of-history Anthropocene(s). It turns a critical eye to the machinations of exploitation at the intersections of the political, cultural, and ecological, and the crisis and contradiction that follows. (Dis)solution believes in work that analyzes our world without insularity, work that informs our everyday-political movement through the eroding topographies of the 21st century—not merely to understand it, but to change it.

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