Cycle

And there’s a certain drawing down & I’m a child again,
fascinated as my nan hooks the chimney’s tongue

to pull breath from outside, tall the fire taller.                                                  The creature in me burrows deeper, as if trying

to treasure my bones. I fever every layer of skin,                                               on turning leave a glistening trail like something in peril.

There is nowhere I can be, tremble in the in-between                                 when stars are being blinded by a melodramatic morning.

Seismic shifts curl me undone, river my youth,                                                 the promise of it falling wordlessly, reaching to be held.

published in A bellyful of roses, Pocket Poets, Ginninderra Press 2018

Endometriosis evolution

It ran through the family
like some Russian doll syndrome
when a century ago women
could be bedridden for days
passing what seemed like their entire insides                                               locked and moaning in unimaginable pain

And even on good days
they could feel the weight of it building
like some great tidal wave
with nowhere to break

They never named it back then
this “malady of menses”
and as time went on
things were discovered to help
a hot bath
a cold compress
the odd howl at the moon

And now it’s her turn
with a bellyful of scars
from where they’ve repeatedly cleared her out
careful not to mess
with parts now stuck together

But like her mother’s before her
although she will never be one
she does her best to balance
a seesaw of hormones
pictures a rose imperfectly frozen and a moon                                                    its twin long gone                                                                                          lamenting an impossible orbit

published in A bellyful of roses, Pocket Poets, Ginninderra Press 2018

The astronomer’s wife

I fell into the Moon last night
quite by accident
explored all its scars and shadow
its dust on my lips like a promise.

And after we swapped numbers
I slipped out
cat-like
as the Milky Way had arrived
and lay yawning over the exit.

I had to take a look though
at the life you can never show me.

published in What the water & moon gave me, Pocket Poets, Ginninderra Press 2016

Float

Stronger than me you keep me tidy
undo the gather

that can tighten my chest for days.
You kiss my squalls

make them draw breath
hold my sides while I spill myself over

and then after
bring back some ballast. Without you

my worries would thrive
like anemones.

published in What the water & moon gave me, Pocket Poets, Ginninderra Press 2016

Visiting hours

Her hands don’t belong here
bewildered starfish beached on the table.
She wants to put them away
with the napkins and knives.

When the doorbell rings she answers the fridge
confused and then thrilled
to see her teeth grinning back.

She thought it’d be her daughter
nods polite to the woman who’s stolen her name.

Later she remembers the time
shuffles in slippers to find it again.

published in Smashed glass at midnight, Picaro Poets, Ginninderra Press 2015

Admission

She wonders how she got here
sees no sign that she should be.

They look in on her often
in their coats with their pens making waves
on their papers.
She stares back
her eyes full moons with the heart cut out.

Sometimes she puts on a show
sends their note-taking mad
her hands restless spiders make nests in her hair.

Mostly she waits
moves her words to her fingers
touches her mouth when she wants to speak
her voice like smashed glass at midnight.

published in Smashed glass at midnight, Picaro Poets, Ginninderra Press 2015