Today is the final day of my Old Melbourne Gaol residency.

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Beyond this

The sun is not as I’ve been remembering, but hangs forlorn, choked brown by plumes from smokestacks that have gone up all around. I’d imagined it, at least, would greet me like an old friend. But it is wary. By noon it has taken itself off behind low clouds, and them behind the smoke. The streets I knew have turned to walls themselves and this world seems but a different grey. People hunch. Birds do not sing. I know a place where men and women and creatures swagger beneath skies that are rarely anything but blue. It will cost me a pretty penny to get back there. So it is I spend the afternoon of my release planning my escape.

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