I ♥ Newcastle

1 May 2017
We’d run, eyes closed, holding hands, through mountain-misted Blackbutt. Cyclones of bats over the pond at dusk swooped for dragonflies and crickets. Our bare legs scratched by tall native grass. The sweaty smell of humus welcoming our musk. But you wanted expensive potting mix and fresh-cut lawns.

At Redhead Beach we swapped tops because I burn so easily. I sat in the shade, sinuses hot and raw with brine, ready to leave two hours before you. In Charlestown, heading back to New Lambton, the car ran out of petrol but I’d used our last five dollars to buy hot chips; we walked home in silence.

Walking through the Wickham railway gates on Friday afternoon, you dawdled behind. Said you’d catch up with me, you had to use the payphone. I didn’t see you until the next afternoon.

I slept in my car sometimes, after I’d yelled. I slept in branches under pine trees near train stations; I slept on the floor of the university computer lab; I slept in the shade behind the ocean baths; I tried but couldn’t sleep beside you anymore.

I tried a rhythmic sway and cupid lips, tried nutmeg and cinnamon. I tried cloying whispered nothings, whispered somethings, I whispered caramel across your collarbones. You turned the music up and locked the Corolla from the inside.

 


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