On Not Having Encountered Snow, Age 35

By | 27 June 2005


Snow is distant like death. A blond field of
wheat stubble stalk frozen after harvest. Heat
in the eye of the Nankeen kestrel that jump jets
over paddocks & locks onto mouse holes, thermals
raging as Westerlies plug in. Heat, the dust devil
city smothers New Delhi subterfuge in downtown
Melbourne. That peculiar afternoon light which
extracted pedestrians from Brunswick St shops
& fog bound them, though reversed naturally.


Heat was between your legs before that race –
wet heat of fear & you didn't win, the frigate bird
chafe flared bright in the puberty reds, heat in the
hands you held, (St Marys) where tennis hill statues
sat unmoving, unkissing under the snowy haired
moon, heat in the lips of ridicule, cat guts tense.
Heat in the dishonour of taste, class food, uneaten.
A Marie Celeste of untouched grub, cheese hidden
In racing car caps, heat in discovery of shame.


Heat going out of dinners & heat in the helplessness
of fathers, ransacked emotions spat as boiled water
that snaked down onto the two year old, heat in the
venom of quick atoms bouncing into each other ?±
jump-castle heat of energy in the typeface that printed
your father's agony; heat leaving bodies & going where?
Heat of difference, heat of statistics, cold heat of fluoros,
the heat of engines six storeys down, taxi alligators
prowled bitumen moat of Bowen-Bridge Road.


On not having encountered snow, age 35, all that can
be felt is heat. Inuit metaphors meaningless in the heat
of birthplace, dawn heat of children, hot cords of uncut
blood, sapling placenta heat, eucalypt heat, heat of scalpel
& vein & dry creek bed. Howling heat of babies, eruption
of teething heat, your hot soul mate heat when you find it.
Heat of near misses. Collision heat of unconditional love.
Performative heat of this spoken language, I love you.
The kind of heat that kills snow.

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