UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI

in the art gallery

by Jiahu Wu

the art dealer and the artist were talking about little boys with guns

one said              I never bought guns for my boys

the other said     someone gave my boy a gun when he was here

‚ÄĒ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† you know what the boys did if no one ever bought them guns? they ate their vegemite sandwiches into the shape of guns and held them in their hands

‚ÄĒ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† when my boy had the gun everyone around him started singing and clapping and he laid down on the ground and smiled with the gun in his hand with the gun by his side he was so happy

opposite the gallery a guy sat in front of the watchmakers and read a book on his kindle

his brown jacket and white lapels stood out against his blue jeans

                           he looked bored as hell

                           on the white chair

the rain threatened but never did wash away the dolour attached to the concept success

                           aka 'making it'

the fat tourists in grey track pants and adidas hoodies rolled their noisy suitcases down

                           the road

they disappeared behind adina hotel entrance as if they entered a portal towards a secret

                           concentration camp right here

                           in the middle of the city

through the open windows I tried to guess the occupation of each inhabitant

                           engineer

                           architect

                           lawyer

                           student

                           widow

                           window washer

no a window washer would not live here

                           the rent is too high

the dog that came in had his tail between his legs

he had clear but sad eyes

no morals came through‚ÄĒ¬†¬†¬† the day was a riddle

the art dealer gave commands

the artist responded cordially

the poet sat on the floor and felt the cold concrete against her bum

conclusion:

girls liked puppies barbies casuarina trees and sitting on the ground

boys liked guns


Janet Jiahui Wu writes and makes art. She has published in various publications of literature and is working on her first book. She lives and works in Sydney, Gadigal country.