Academic journal article Antipodes

In the Long Grass

Academic journal article Antipodes

In the Long Grass

Article excerpt

The hair on my arm was close

in the warm brick of the gaslight,

a landscape seen at a distance

from above. These hairs, tiny,

sprung from their dark wells, an animal secret;

a secret of creation,

like how we do not know

how our warm fluids can mix and make things,

that most secret and smug silence of all.

I did not ask for this

chalice of destiny in my body, the indignity

of its polishing, and repolishing itself,

perfecting its threat; my will a moth

bumping useless outside the lantern.

I am getting freckled, like my mother.

Next I will rumple,

drawing in like a thing shrunk

gradually in an oven;

like tissue paper used, and carefully reused,

the way things used to be used, and carefully reused,

as though there would only ever be one

of anything. And perhaps for me too will come the day

when I seize the plump arm of a child,

to hold it, to pore over it, to love it

greedily- to have the child squirm away,

sensing what I am, there, crouching in the long grass.

In the gaslight, you found on my body

the fractals of nanire: the coil of a sea fossil,

the whorl on the belly of a cat. …

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