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Ûo^Zf Pigeons peck at the empty street and the yawn of steel doors sound a new day to the north the sleepless port-lights rhythmically blink, their glow waning as the first waves of light wash over the city

lbqZf Steaming busses yield the first footsteps of the day a slowly rising sun seeps through high set windows on the eastern flank and the smell of rising bread exhales past the steel sliders and out into the street

l^o^gZf “beep, beep, beep” signals the truck delivery of flowers fresh from the market men run down aisles delivering cartons of milk, dodging a couple liftibg a crate over the counter there’s multitudes of chaos, each vendor seeking to best prepare themselves for the day ahead

^b`amZf the slow recurrent circles of the coffee machine can only just be heard against the babble of suits talking stocks, while they wait, some sit at long white tables reading headlines others run in amongst the chaos and sprint out with places to be

gbg^Zf Women pounding the treadmill in their nikes just an hour prior, now enter the market transformed tightly clad in a power suits and heels they stride through with no time to stop grabbing a banana in one hand a smoothie in the other hand they define a breakfast on the run

m^gZf A train that ran late has a suit short on time sprinting down the station steps then into the market he dives weaving between stalls he cuts a new path- before being spat out on albert street and racing on to work

^e^o^gZf Pushing the pram with one hand, a baby on hip with the other a mother scans the chattering sea of seated heads, to find them waiting- one big, two small, with coffee, cake and conversation

mp^eo^if Pairs of eyes dart amongst the sea of screaming signs those decided, sit packed tight at tables consuming food and spitting out words single voices and stories are stolen- collectively melting into a bubbling low hum

hg^if a back drop of late and solo eaters sit against a scene of battle remnants upturned napkins rest in bowls, the straws, still standing but chewed, plates lay smeared with proof of the consumed while the knives and forks play dead

mphif Beyond those of drifting shoppers, sit three balding heads lined in a row Like clockwork they come, sitting caped in their chair For a crew cut or brush cut or purely the nostalgia the barber’s chair brings

mak^^if Wandering the market floor, a busker finds a stage to play a string of melodies that float up into the timber rafters, dance with the dust caught floating in the light below atrium windows

_hnkif the slapping of school sandals speed throughout the stalls, shrieking laughter and jingling bus change chasing after following the memory of their feet towards the expectant vendor

Ûo^if the familiar faces of the inner city denizen great the local fishmonger an attractive alternative to the illuminated lights of the golden arches, purchasing brown paper parcels over brown paper bags, leaving behind empty beds of ice

lbqif The jazz pianist starts up on the stage- his chords ringing warm and true while a table of women not long from work sway and sip at their wine the mood is mellow, the patrons tranquil, but a stir of activity begins to purr

l^o^gif Condensation collects above head in the pointed atrium roof hot woks and bubbling pots driving steam up into the air the cold outside bites at the side but inside the kitchens radiate heat

^b`amif A sensory melting pot simmers at the heart of the evening market closing ones eyes you can hear the scrapping of wooden legs on the concrete floor utensil on plate and the chatter of patrons caught in a moment of delight

gbg^if In the center of the market place a fire is roaring casting an even warmer glow onto the red brick arches of the enlarged hearth the rhythmic movement of its shadows move in time with the echoing clunk of dancing feet

m^gif A young couple taste samples on sticks from tubs mounded high with Gelato they drift away from the night time hub and wander past now empty stalls with the noise from before now but a distant hum they share a kiss in the silence

^e^o^gif a dinner party of six examine their exquisite destruction, plates smeared with condiments and dotted with crumbs, utensils askew and red wine dribbles on the cloth they sit back with tummies full, spices still mingling in their mouths while the last sips of wine trickle down their throats

mp^eo^Zf Short dressed girls clutch at their soda and limes while boys throw their bodies with the beat the liquor keeps running, its fuel for the night so there’s no one on empty in here

hg^Zf incoherent rambles announce the arrival of a group of drunken town goers on route home they stop in, craving something hot and deep-fried amused vendors hand over orders to their outstretched hands and watch them stumble off into the distance

mphZf While chairs are stacked the remainder of oblivious patrons finally spill out onto the street with a series of heaving clunks, the steel perimeter doors sequentially interlock, while outside the activity continues, within its fortified shell all is empty and still

mak^^Zf In the silence, white light reflects on the concrete floor below it reads the story of a day gone by- of foot grime and juices and the left over pickings of sparrows and pigeons only to now be sprayed down, washed away- a clean slate, for the new day

_hnkZf Lone pendant lights hum against the darkness outside echoes of the last drunken patrons fading into the distant streets a thin layer of water rests upon the concrete surface- reflecting the silence

Ûo^Zf Pigeons peck at the empty street and the yawn of steel doors sound a new day to the north the sleepless port-lights rhythmically blink, their glow waning as the first waves of light wash over the city

Maddie Clarke  
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