By | 31 October 2021

the Crab Cactus dies and gives birth to itself
Every Year. unfurling towards an imagined desire
it buds hastily, hungrily, reminiscent of anatomical
illustrations of blushing muscle fibre or the skirts
of a child’s synthetic pink gown, worn without fail
through the aisles. the meat section
of the grocery store
provokes within me
the feeling of:

[your palms, imprinted with quarter moons,
rough and foreign to me]

[the melancholy valley your hips cleave
in the lonely tether of night]

[the whorl of your hair bores into your skull,
pointing to singularity, Mind]

the lyric of:

two enrobed women
wheel an abandoned
shopping trolley from one side
of Buranda train station
to the other at 2 am
as though to peel
this imposition of nouns
from the translucent skin
of the land beneath

and as though to disrobe our serpentine inland sea,
bloating with translucent pollutants and dead fish
and swift Walt-Whitmatic catamarans. three donors
to private schools summit Moriah but cannot condense
the city into the shell’s hole, octopus-borne.
death spares the dental hygienist who bores
my teeth down to stumps with her diamond
incongruous light.

sometimes i recognise,
in perspex reflection,
the essence of me

and your muse
is the Sage archetype,
swilling mulberries gin

but i am your staunch
in the waning of spring.

the blood is slow-moving, becoming the sheets.
the ancient cat loses weight while we sleep.
coiled like a nautilus shell, or a foetus,

the Crab Cactus and its identical spawn
flowering either side, like Plath’s snakes,

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