Native

31 July 2012

A block of greasy light reaches me
from the neighbour’s shed,
settles on the desk.

I browse the keyboard
for words I have forgotten. I type
‘stitch’ and imagine skin.

I copy down my steps
all night in the cold bedroom.
An hour
arrives and leaves.

Now: noise.
What doesn’t sing has no right
to be awake in the shrieking
hour
of birds.

Diamond firetail
gouldian finch mulga parrot
budgerigar—

Tree full of wagtail, myna, peewees:
native names I forgot,
learned on
hot days in state school
science class.

I try to say my name aloud.
Instead, words I heard
when I was a ten,
tadpoles in a bucket,
magpies pinch mince from
shaky hands.

Dead yellow budgie
on the neighbour’s deck,
typed
in straight lines.

I realise
if I step backwards
I will bump into myself.

QPF

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