Dismantling your form as you stand in the wake of white laminate,
everything takes its place as arable desire crunches under my downy boots.
I say ‘hello’ like an apology – not wanting to be a duchess of regret
(yes, I am familiar with the dogged predictability of losing)
so I look to the hem of your lips and move up to settle
on the southern tip of your nose;
soft patches of confessional skin a tourniquet to any rind of hope.
red ink, black ink, blue ink
I wager that there is grace in shutting up.
On my chart of the east, clouds chafe the sky,
my piano moaning like a bird on its last flight.
My body rushes; keening at you like you’re a finish line,
and as I usurp ribbons of catastrophe the dog pack has pinned to my chest,
I see you as a remission, where you become one long fortnightly saudade.
Gales of laughter rip through us as we fox away time.
With my foot in the door, I bury myself in busy snatches of air
where you tease me over the lure of peeling foil
before I scatter shards of pills under my tongue
but not before drawing your face into the bough of my hands;
my fingers trumpeting urgency.
I do not trust myself to hear the lilt in your voice
or to feel your hands under my caul,
for there are sounds that tumble out of my mouth
like small hymns that run in time with your easy slouch
best I learn how to pray
Meet me at the river where water
slips around our shadows like outposts of hope.
Stuck in the gullet of splitting winter winds
we are already a dirge of soupy stares and epistolary flesh
upon which I shall starve my curdling belly;
the biggest surprise being that you even remembered my name.
- 96: NO THEME IXSUBMIT NOW with M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHCOMING SOON with M Takolaner 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRO AUSTRALIANwith 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