Call me a bit slow, but…


Call me a bit slow, but…


…it was almost exactly two of those
old-fashioned, pre-decimal years later,
on the other side of the world, and I was
nursing a rusted old dragon of a truck
down a red road you could see streaking by
through the lacy floor of the cab. And it was
just after midday, because the shadows
were mean and riveted on, and I don’t
know why, but all of a sudden I realised
you’d actually meant what you’d said,
that they hadn’t been just giddy, disposable,
2 a.m. words you might say to almost anyone
at all, to be laughed off the next day, like dust
from a mirror. It was possible that if I eased
further off the gas, I wouldn’t get back until
everything was already picked and safely in
the chiller. And I wondered if those brahmans,
drawn and incongruously skeletal in such a
fleshy, civilised country, would be nosing
around in their paddock again, grazing on
fresh air, amazing me that they survived.

First published in San Pedro River Review, Spring 2017






I dreamed my way back to the old farm,
with its straight lines and brutal corners,
the sick skies overhead pillowed

with the burden of all that endless work,
my cold hands moving objects bigger than myself,
waiting for something small within me to fail.

It was a relief to wake again in your house,
with its manic garden beating at the screens
to gain entry, to coax us out of ourselves,

its hummingbirds and gentle energy;
and your returning joy, knowing nothing
of the dark soil at the back of my mind.


first published in Dream Catcher, issue 32, 2015