245 days

The air is tangled

all around her

filaments in and out

of these breaths I count

the snug of her

against my side

warm that’s mine

but now her’s.

How can I know her

and not – ?

those days she spent

gathering herself from me

in and out with the

bloodflow

up and down of the two hearts

rubbing rubbing

chaffing life up.

As if this face has always

been with me

and is more my own

than the mirror or window’s

bright fleck of person.

But only this short time

the sleep of her

so enormous.

a

Leaking

As the sky leaks

so will you

a minute apocalypse

of fluid

once seemed to be yours then falls

and you find yourself outside yourself

exacting callous flow

from time to time.

He cannot change this

small wonder

that leached your bones’ own filaments

the fine lines of marrow

borrowed

from the sun or some explosion

in the sky

where all this seems to start

and end.

You see yourself

as structured from surroundings

like birds

who weather

wear the sky from claw to beak

themselves a drop of yolk

sunset pinched to yellow

the salt blue of that fellow

how the clotted bloodstream

twisted up with iron and elements

whose very names – nitrogen oxygen hydrogen –

are foreign outsiders marching

on time’s own order

not soldiers of the self

that pulled me from you and then on again

file after file

in a library of clouds.

Some days you are the sky’s

immense sadness

that speaks up and is surrendered to

blood cord taught

that ends all ends

and will conclude…

Has Lost Her…

Scale back the eye
to halter days
as leaf from tree
this scud of time
doesn’t know where to find them.

From bow to peep
the ankle roll
growth plate after growth plate
the mime of hair
cackle backthrow

just below the heart
this song is sitting
an awning of silver
cloud-loud and syncopated
taut as a rainbow

as reflective
as fish leaving their tails
behind them. Kick start
the leading to muzzle up close:
the reward is sleeping.

Friday poem 4: luminous familiar

The sky-eyed face that buries itself
In my chest is luminous familiar
All the breath
all those ins those outs

The pupil’s yawn
that orchid mouth
Span of forehead my own
To claim and paste with kisses

Even if we were not suckled together
This embrace
Repeated and repeated
A dance of hunger and relief

The ‘o’ of your needs
To the full stop of my nipple
The curlicue of your body
To the asterisk of my hand

At the break of night
Or fall of day
One eating the tail of the other
No beginning or exact end.

Friday Poem 3: Map of the Uneaten

The kitchen has all the evidence

of breakfast balanced in exact disorder;

the egg shells spills of milk

fresh grains of crumpled weetbix

finely ground by hand

and honey strands arranged from

jar to lip and back to jar.

 

I am armed with a cloth

about to wipe it clean and delete the morning’s ritual

divide the crusts among the chickens

water down the dust and spray

sand away the places you carved your names

the indelible crayon that travels

beyond the paper and onto the wood.

 

But there, in the slant of the morning

my will, my wishbone shatters.

It is now mixed with the milky map of the uneaten,

I watch it congeal next to the toast

which is exactly as you left it

and travels from past to present and back again.

 

There will not be another morning

with clamour and mixing of this honey and this time;

the children have left

there is no returning

even from lip to lip

no more milky traces to follow home.

 

Friday Poem 2 – Stains

the smooth sky is rapid with wind
air that smacks heat and belts the trees with it
until they bend into sulky mouths

the slap-down heat of the iron hot hands
melts bitumen with the constant light
all along the famished grass

flicking and bloodless clouds
mock shadow under the eye
the covered stains beneath skin

scales as it heals and dries
to stormcloud edging as hidden
as pollution and as rife.

Friday Poem 1 – Currawong

The villain currawong owns the whole garden;
on cusp of morning the swoop of his voice
corrugates the quiet
the flute and twist
of the future
nest and swoop
mimic his yellow speckled eye.

His black intention
intuits the sun
pricks the light from shadow
flies into the house
and collects up the morsels
leftover laughter
cut-offs of thought
that tremble under the table.

His scimitar beak will load them all
his throat tickled by that last thread of your dream
that pendant of your longing
and he flies it home
to the white manifora
after he feeds some to his young
swallows the rest whole.