Her faux fur drapes across her shoulders
Atop a bra made from dense black lace
Matching her long faded lipstick
Her legs dangle like water droplets
As she sits on his lap
Both of them pinch their wine glasses like tiny teacups
The content spilling as the talk together
A story of misadventure from the night before
They swear in unison
Throwing f’s and c’s
She laughs at the catastrophe
It catches roughly in her throat
She swills her red wine before gulping
Hanging loosely between matchstick fingers
She inhales an overly long menthol cigarette
Something about her eyes seems scared
Something about her pasty white skin seems off
She tries to talk and coughs again
She smokes and drinks to push the words away
She laughs instead
His legs shift beneath her all-bone bottom
She jiggles around
Seemingly unperturbed by the move
Keeping straight back stance
As he adjusts upon the old style garden chair
A hand across her back
Morning sun in his squinty eyes
His dirty hair upon her shoulder
She drinks again
Smacks her lips
It doesn’t snow here
The ice would marry the red dirt
And the ghost gumtrees
Would become a canvas
For blood red handprints
I see my breath instead
Winter catching in my throat
Like a secret
Cold stuck in my lungs
Like a disease
The icy breeze gets in my knuckles
It swells my bones
And scares my body
From the inside out
Pushing needles through my skin
Fifty years from now
When the cold is too much
And my body old
I will envy the very day
I am living now
Best go paint some trees
“Naw Baby, ” he says with a smirk.
“Did you forget your meds?”
Taking off a wedding ring
He puts it on the faded dashboard.
I touch my wrist
Where my heart beats rapidly.
“Kicking on like hummingbird,” I tell him.
“You dead then? You’ve got them numb cheeks.”
“What’s that mean?” When he talks,
He hisses out his ‘s’ sounds
Like a stuttering snake. He’s fiddling with his zipper now.
“It means your face is falling like a dead man’s.”
“When’ve you ever seen a dead man?”
He laughs because he doesn’t know a damn thing.
“Lookin at one right now.”
Before he can do a thing
I push a fork in his eye.
While he screams,
Grabbing at the bloodied weapon
I unlock all the doors of the car
With his wallet, three cards and a fist full of cash.
Mama’ll be so proud.
Fur leaf clones left well alone
Dry guts and deep cuts
Slumber days and far fetched nights
Sex on concrete steps
Hard won love, laid to rest
Red lights and monkey bones
Gun-toting hippie homes
Near death walks in desert
Talk talk talk
Walk walk walk
Animal print balaclavas
Smoke to pin-point shame
Yesterday’s questions – no brain
Dance naked despite gravity
Love with levity
Eat your liquid breakfast
Through a tube
Scratch the bruise.
I tumbled through the lights and bulbs
Like Alice and the hole.
I looked to either side and saw nothing
But a way out to China.
A cold thumped me right-side up
There the world was big
And I was small.
Everyone was having babies
With rings on their fingers
And bells on their toes
So we could hear them coming
With promises in their pockets,
A jingle jangle of small change,
While my own pants lay silent.
This world only ceased
When my double made an effort
To say all the right things
To all the right people
With their mouths full of teeth
And tea up their sleeves.
Yes, I am fine
(I say to a lady with red wine lips)
Yes, I am fine,
(She stands up to brush away crumbs)
Yes, I am fine.
(Her skirt flays out like the petals of a rose,
Her face tells me she doesn’t actually care)
She promised herself
To eat five things a day
Yesterday is was tomatoes
The day before grapefruit
The day before that mince meat pies.
She promised herself
To clean once day
Tomorrow it’ll be her toothbrush
Today it’s the compost heap
But yesterday was funny
Not ha-ha funny
More odd than anything else
She saw her own reflection
In the mirror by the door
So she ate her third tomato
And imagined herself as a vegetable
Slipping down the gullet
Of someone making promises.
Today she lathers her toast
With what looks to be mottled yoghurt
She got the idea while elbow-deep and cleaning.
There were five caterpillars in her fridge this morning
Only four to go ’til sundown
There’s a nest which sits well above my heart.
I’d like to say it was the home of a wren
But it belongs to a raven.
It is clever, heavy, wicked and wise
And it sees you.
My raven collects things,
Tiny metallic objects
Which nestle in the twigs above my heart.
I’d like to say they shimmer and shine,
But they cut
Forcing me to grow scar tissue in places
I never thought I would.
My raven tells me things,
Whisperings in its croaking voice
Chants like those from outside of sound.
I’d like to say it is made of music,
But they are maniacal and truthful,
All the things that make me breed
Just a little more madness
Just a little more hate.
There’s a nest above my heart
And it presses like a coldness,
Pushes like a heaving force,
And lands me in a world of trouble.