Academic journal article Antipodes

The Lilac Room

Academic journal article Antipodes

The Lilac Room

Article excerpt

Swifts whizzed in and out of a belfry

through cool volumes of limestone shadow.

She watched a breeze go around the square

gently lifting linen. When she turned

from the window, he was still sitting

on the bed, as if about to sneeze.

She undressed hurriedly, feeling fat.

The argument was still weeks away.

When it towered abruptly from "nothing,"

she knew she only had to keep calm.

But then it occurred to her that she

was actually the one in control.

Remembering the room and its view

years later she thought: it looks like that

was the last time. And: Misery-guts!

More sharply than his virginal shakes

what came back to her was his left hand,

reaching up into the chalky light

as they lay there breathing afterwards,

(the ring finger's last joint slightly skewed),

and the story he launched into then

of a sincere and ultimately

unsuccessful attempt to forgive. …

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