I know I’m low in iron
I start craving the dirt.
I mix mineral supplements into my orange juice,
because you absorb iron more effectively with vitamin C,
did you know?
and then the cravings subside.
But the supplements are expensive
I just live in this state of side-eyeing the dirt,
like it’s a girl whose freckles I love too much
and whose boyfriend is inconvenient.
I’m happy for them, of course,
I flirt with the dirt,
I lather my face in a dead sea mud mask
it’s on my lips.
I knead the earth to nurture my plants
I smear some across my face
scrape it under my fingernails,
a deep black midnight snack.
At the supermarket I always buy brushed potatoes,
because brushed means
with a cakey layer of soil.
people buy them when they’re going
to peel the potatoes anyway,
or commit to a long, thorough scrub.
I give them a tepid wash, but leave them still freckled with flavour.
I paid for this dirt, after all.
It’s worse in winter,
when I’m bleeding constantly
and hungry for the warmth of gentle rain
on sleeping minerals.
Freckles sometimes makes me homemade play-dough
because it’s tastier to eat than store-bought,
basically organic free-range soy salt dough, y’know?
but it’s not dirty, not even a little.
She has bright, sober eyes and can eat soup
in a white blouse
without ever making a mess,
not even from the fickle splosh of a spoon chinking the bowl’s cusp.
Her dough is never dirty.
My dog snuffles around in the backyard,
a slobbery sealion
pretend-playing as a truffle pig.
Her mind is an underground blueprint
of latitude lines across every goat horn
and chew toy hidden.
She walks back through the dogdoor
with a telltale mudsnout,
sneezing on secrets.
I envy the trail of her whiskers
paving alleyways for ants
through a miniature wilderness.
I listen to Another One Bites the Dust,
and I wish I would,
Just lemme fucking eat the dirt.
- 102: GAMESUBMIT with J Maxwell and R Green 101: NO THEME 10COMING SOON with J Kinsella and J Leanne 100: BROWNFACE with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPOREwith J Ip and A Pang 97 & 98: PROPAGANDAwith M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones