Conifer branches like oars,
the sky forces pods of rain into clods of earth.
Dirty, rolling clouds freckle my eyesight and people
shrink away as they hear the inelegant sound of scratching.
Whatever you have done – whatever you have told me –
the world is going wrong.
You speak of dry ground, shrunken rivers and puckered riverbeds.
No pebbles for us to gather – no proof we have been here.
Your emaciated authority has me laughing deep into my belly.
A necklace of droplets making their familiar migration across your chest
in a place where the dead nurse carnations on their lapels.
Triangle folds like a handkerchief – the edges as sharp as a gull’s beak.
Salt shoots up your nose,
ferried by the wind, making your skin crawl.
Untrammelled waves curl under sand while my legs
catch fish with slippery accuracy.
You can stand on the short saying, ‘I think we’re done here,’ but I am not.
I’m catching fish with my wet thighs,
letting them swim through.
I tack my legs together; feel the scales resting on my virgin skin.
40.0: INTERLOCUTORGuest poetry editor: Libby Hart
Release date: 1 November 2012
Index of poems
Featured artists: Melanie Scaife and James Bonnici