By | 16 August 2019

I: Day One

Wombat is perfect. Lies as if
resting, lies on gravel road
as if it were cool burrow.

A narrow stream slowly
pools beneath her nose,
blood thickening as it flows.

These hands alone can’t move
her heft; takes bodyweight
to heave her to the verge

leaving scuff-marks
leading from a scribble
of red in shifted dust.

II: Day Two

It’s 40C. Legs splayed ramrod-straight
she is grounded, overblown balloon:
a child’s absurd plaything.

III: Day Four

Wombat stinks. She is collapsed
onto herself, into herself,
fur coat shucked off evenly,

draped around her body
like an army greatcoat.
A zipper of busy maggots

marks her spine, glisten and seethe
in dappled light. Everything in
and on her moves, everything except her.

IV: Day Eight

Wombat becomes landscape.
A harlequin beetle inhabits the socket
of her eye, its iridescence a small sun.

Her clean-picked skull’s a smooth rock
weathering lichen-yellow.
Her backbone ridge bisects

the dully bleaching fur now
clumped in hummocks matching
paddock grass beyond the fence.

V: Week Eight

Her bone fragments like stone,
pebbled vertebrae scatter over fur
and under autumn leaves, returning.

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