Somewhere Different

By | 7 October 2021

The river washes over my heart with caution—
like this is the first time it has ever held a body.

Somewhere different, I am born
into the same tension. To hold is to

recognise; my mother has named a hollow child
too many times. The hospital nurse clasps the edges

of the unknown universe / ma doesn’t
wail for her baby, only asks silently that

god quantifies his mercy in her arms.
This becomes the place where I am most safe—

the sky has always been an open witness here.
Tonight, the mid-noon river in the summer rain is

the only thin substitute for her. Last week it was the smooth
sap of the backyard red gum / with all its wanting teeth.

For now, I am invisible in the river’s warmth /
invulnerable in its strange sympathy.

Away from home, I am told that places cannot be
holy and wild at the same time. I disagree

and turn into freshwater.

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