Back to her

This is the poem I read yesterday at SpeedPoets. I have to say, this was one of the best I’ve attended – great sets by Randall Stephens and Tiggy Johnson and Andy White AND a collection of some of the best, most diverse and entertaining voices Brisbane has to offer. A great event, that needs ongoing support! Now I need to get organised and whittle down a list of poems to read on Thursday 23 at Avid Reader – very nerve wracking reading so many of my pieces in one go. Shortlisting will be difficult but I have a feeling this poem will be in there somewhere…

Back to her
As end of day brews blood red
low and overlaid with paragraphs
he blows in from the straits
to place a claim on the chattels
fixing battens over the broken
pieces with a tongue hammer
remembering the pale moons
of her fingernails and folding
the sum of his worth into her
salt scored dampness

He’s come back to her
at an angle of 45 degrees,
beyond cyclone wire emptiness
and white midday, bearing the
smell of cut grass in his oyster tight
hands, and just like that
he’s made his announcement
pegging sugar words by new seams
soaked sweet in loaded fiction
using breath he’d chosen long
before this.

Deep in the suburbs
effort folds in on itself until it’s
her vulnerability, that’s cut hard
over collarbones, while his arrival
is all fistfuls of summer cotton,
and knuckles the colour of sand
a trail of moth breath blown cold
over what is left exposed; and
body parts to keep the cold war
from the urges.
© 2010 Vanessa Page


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