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Falling

Keep up your routines 
They say
When at risk of falling hard and fast

Ok

She tries

But this pesky pandemic
Has got her all locked down

And the enforced extended distance builds a tension even greater

Morning texts that go til lunchtime

Nap time fantasies abound

Phone calls filled with longing
So much longing
They could only wish
for a shortcut to the next tryst

Lips whisper through the ether
Of desires yet unmet

Something showstoppingly stunning
grows as Spring approaches

But what it is feels jostled
By this other
Discomfort


This insistent presence
of an isolating threat

delaying
delaying
delaying

How delicious can torture really be?

Breastfeeding

I remember 

It was years ago now

Sitting in a privacy cubicle in the parents’ room in the middle of a shopping centre


Conditioned air
Piped muzak
Grubby curtains
Playschool on the tele on the other side of them

Seeking some rest before attempting
The epic effort of loading the car with baby and self
Back to the place of endless labour
and insufficient sleep

Feeling a little self pity
At my lot
As a single mother
not by choice

And a voice
From the next cubicle
Where two local mums had been talking
Cuts through my ruminations

“Babydaddy’s a useless C##T anyway
All he ever does is
Smoke ice
And
F**k putrid hoes.”

Yes, I remember that.

Mirror

The mirror reflects my state of mind.

Not the truth.
Not any singular truth.

The clarity of my heart shining through my forehead
The scowl of my worries curving my shoulders
My love of self embracing the most excellent styling of my perfectly filthy hair
Or my mild blue afflicting my perception that the very same hair sees me unfit for human contact...

Naked.
Some days I scrutinise that reflected body as if it owes me something, 
answerable to all the erroneous demands of our superficial culture - what is that curve?  That hair? Why has gravity been allowed here? 
Other times I find the beauty of it breathtaking, wishing I was someone else so that I could hold it in my gaze and reach out with tender touch to feel its perfection tremble with pleasure.

When the mirror tells me harsh truths, 
if it is a lucky day, I can remember that 
the mirror reflects my state of mind
and I make some time to soften my thoughts
until the mirror reflects love to me once more.












Copyright 2021

Cigarettes

Can you go buy me cigarettes

She rasps from the dark cocoon of wherever she is with her demons
On the mattress on my bedroom floor

I take my school uniform off and change into civvies
Put on some mascara so the 7/11 guy will sell to me

Come back with the goods

She’s still there
Deep in her turmoil
But also she sees me
As I bring her lighter

I was raped
She drops it
Like a bowling ball through a glass table
My feet beneath.

I feel the impact
On my childhood
On my innocence
On my place as her daughter

As she discloses
For the first time in her life
Nearly fifty years old
Her vast history of horrific sexual assault

In graphic detail
Of the violence
Of the humiliation
Of the insidious threats to silence her

A suite of stories
That I now see as almost universally thematic for so many women

But her first telling
Was my first hearing

And already I had my own
Silenced stories
Tucked away inside so many poky corners of my soul

She draws on her dart
Exhaling putrid smoke
Into my asthmatic face
She’s feeling that relief
Of no longer carrying it alone

Meanwhile
My feet feel the bruise of the bowling ball impact
My soul is writhing with the discomfort of being made the listener

She looks at my face
Hers switches up and she blinks
Dons the facade of adult
And says

You’d better put your uniform on and get to school


Copyright 2021

Out

Out.

I’m out.

Mum, I’m gay, 

I texted her.

That’s nice dear.  

As in you’ve renamed yourself, or like two poofy men?

Homphobic bitch.

Out.

I’m out.

Striding through the Autumn morning in my walking shoes

Seeking solace in the beauty outside me

from the rage that churns within

The grey blanket of the pre-dawn sky warms me not, 

but offers me great comfort,

with the reassuring reminder that I am 

at once 

infinitesimal

and as expansive as the universe

A blush emerges as the sun comes back from the other side of the world, busy tart

A suggestive apricot, fuzzy and without edges, and with the optimism of Alabama Whitman

“She tastes like a peach”

how truly did I want to taste her mouth

Still I stride, breathing through my swirling truth

And now, somehow, streaks of pink and blue

Audacious as those marine creatures that you think have surely been exaggerated 

in the artist’s depiction

I can even forgive my ancestors for believing in sky god

Out.

I’m out.

Here under this cracking morning sky, remembering to notice the beauty of the universe.

Mary Oliver eat your heart out!

Savour those juices as they stream down your chin

Rivulets forming in your cleavage invitationally 

for another lover 

of life to slurp at

Yum.

Mum, I like to lick life juice off the tits of women poets.

Still I stride, rounding the corner, home comes into view.

And in the valley beyond, down over the town to the west

The sun, my current favourite artist, has invited the morning mist to dance.

A rainbow!

My queer little heart opens in bliss.

Life really does love me!

And I love her right back, 

most Sapphically indeed.

Copyright 2021.