By | 7 December 2004

Here's where the Nullabor stops.
As if it suddenly forgot itself, the land
falls into the sea and I am groundless.
You are too, but you belong there;
you come out of the blue like a dreamer from sleep,
breaking from its lilt and swing, lift and sink.
Where the elements give way, nebulae of spume
drift off, constellations from the edge of space.
With a headful of echoes and krill
and a crystalline eye angled against refraction
you are making sense of latitude and current,
sizing up the horizon from below. Bejewelled
in barnacles, breaching worlds,
you are all collision, elision,
a balancing act on a fluke, a moment of trance,
an evolutionary quirk. Such a tender joke,
the return of a fossil from this littered plain
to the seething sea, where, re-sheathed in its fin
a hand like mine strokes your lover's side.
Wing-tipped, lick-slippery, slick-smooth
you take each other face to face.
When you dive again, pulse slowing to a long haul,
blood retreating until the brain and heart
are its only reaches, until colour disappears
(first red, then yellow and not long after, blue)
it's as if the earth were too hard,
walking too painful, as if
to open the throat and cry, to draw breath
through the mouth and utter, to close a hand and grasp
were nothing, and I wish
I, like you, were a thing of the past.

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