January 10, 2006

About me

I am gossamer threads
humming molecules and filaments
by tough sinew and
firecracking thoughts
that fizzle and leap
am I wasting my limited
supply of seconds?

November 28, 2005

Signs of Life

She shakes it twice, three times, but the blue line is still there - and definite now, not blurred. She stares blankly at the back of the dunny door for a few seconds, then – Fuck – she stands, yanks her knickers violently up over her thighs and kicks it open.

Outside in the backyard the cicadas are in a cacophony of crazed song, invisible among the piles of dead leaves and shrivelled plants. For a brief, lucid moment she thinks I really must get to the gardening one of these days but under the harsh glare of the midday sun her knees suddenly buckle and she closes her eyes, trying to catch her breath.

“Mum? Are you OK?? She opens her eyes. Ben stands uncertainly on the steps to the house, shading his eyes as he looks down at her. She hastily wipes her eyes, rakes her sleeve across her nose. “Hi love, how are ya? I’m all right, just a bit upset, that’s all,? she says, managing a watery smile and wave. “Go in and watch telly, I’ll be in soon.?

He pauses, looks doubtful, but obediently turns and goes back into the house’s cool interior, letting the screen door bang behind him. Shivering despite the heat, she bends double and pushes her face into the prickly brown grass as she howls.

Later, she lies awake listening to the clock painfully tick away the hours. In the mottled glare of the streetlamp she can see a blowfly tracing slow loops and whorls on the bedroom wall, blindly walking the same pattern over and over. From the corner of her eye she can see his eyelashes twitching against the curve of his cheek, hairy limbs splayed like a child’s on top of the covers. She turns her head, studies his long brown torso, reaches out and touches his belly button softly. His eyebrows furrow, even in sleep, and he issues a warning snort.

She wonders whether she really exists.

In the bathroom, she splashes tepid water on her face and stares into her own immutable eyes reflected in the mirror. Liar she whispers harshly. Lying, dirty bitch. Her head fills with the rough hands that raked over her body, the mouth that whispered meaningless words into her panting lips, the swaggering way he had left the pub while she sat, feeling sick, alone at a table in the corner.

He leans in the doorway, watching her pack her bags. You can’t just leave he finally blurts, raking a hand through his hair, bristling with frustration and hurt. I mean, for fuck’s sake – what have I done? Where are you going? She says nothing, concentrating on folding her shirts neatly, packing them away. She tries to avoiding looking at Ben, who sits silently on the bed, mouth set in a line. Her heart aches with goodbyes – my beautiful, beautiful boys I have destroyed you - but she can’t find the words to begin. I’ll phone…, she calls after him helplessly, as he stalks out of sight.

At the clinic, the nurse is brisk and apparently unconcerned. We’re going to insert the needle now, she says cheerfully, so you might feel a little discomfort…She winces, staring at the ceiling papered with posters of smiling clowns, of waterfalls and islands, beaches glowing with white sand. Turning her face to the sick-green wall, she drifts into the distance thinking of guns, of winter, of tiny shoes and finally nothing.

On the bus, a saucer-eyed little girl watches her sob, mouth agape, despite her mother’s embarrassed admonishments. Staring blindly out of the window, she tries to ignore the slow seep of blood, her hand curling instinctively around her belly when the child, finally slapped on the legs, begins to wail.

August 11, 2005

Signs of Life

She shook it violently, once, twice, three times, but the thin blue line was still there - definite, not blurred. Heart racing, she stared blankly at the back of the toilet door for a few seconds and exhaled deeply. Then - "FUCK!" - she stood, yanked her knickers violently over her thighs and kicked the door open.

Outside, the sun beat down harshly on the backyard, Shivering despite the heat, she sank down onto the prickly grass and tried to imagine how he would react. Plucking absentmindedly at a weed, she pictured the way the corners of his eyes would crinkle as he processed her words,