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Genres & Issue Five & Poetry


By Michelle Cahill

To ride the curved fronds
of rain-splashed palms
with nothing but
exiled eyes,
to cut through
manacle vines.
To moult
like the sunburnt skin
of a gum tree,
wounds flayed exposing
an ivory gleam.
To drown in the truth
of gardens,
as rain glistens silver
on a ripple of green.
To feel like a panther
in an auditorium,
like a cripple
on a glass mountain.
To enter my heart
the arc of a bird
to fly from my pain
an entire flock

There’s a shiver
beyond sky
stretched like a graft
of mottled cloud,
cicadas hum
with tireless generosity.
And a whipbird hides
in coils of lantana
his serrated tongue
the gentle stanzas of dusk,
its verdant syllables:
its fragrant leaves.

First appeared in The Accidental Cage, IP 2006

Artwork by Kathryn Lamont.