Twelve.

12/1/14.

Izzy circle

izzy

the sky looks different
from within
denser, more tangible,
full of the idea of itself
holding sunlight to it
like a lover

red lipstick grins
through the cabin –
it’s part of the uniform
crop circles and oceans
fading into each other below

whissskeycola, I am
getting smashed
with the leathery Italian
sitting next to me in
cheery middle-age
gurning out my window
like teenagers

at the sky over Western Australia
crackled red
smashed with grey cloud
huge ropes of rain
trailing down to home dirt

we’ll have a cigarette
together at Changi
the Italians telling me
about their respective chidren
best friends, who are now tied
to my hometown
he speaks in stops and starts
she doesn’t stop

it takes me forever to remember
what ‘caldo’ means
‘hot’ not ‘cold’
and he is telling me
– repeatedly –
how much I will need
my thick tweed coat
to hold me
to wrap its lambswool
collar around my slender neck.

their tans are ten times
deeper than mine
yet still they know
– better than I do –
that I could never be prepared
for this bone cold.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

An itch under my eyeball took hold of its bloody strings
And steered it away from the neon and paradise lights
Towards a greasy flap of burlap tent
Smelling like the sewers had burped it back up.
My feet took off, two unattended infants
And I wheeled through a vulgar slit in the fabric
To stand, queasy in the colostrum-coloured air
Before a bruised wooden box
Pierced with a brass eyepiece
Adorned with hamfisted lettering
Promising ‘A SIGHT FOR SORE EYES.’
As the carnival crashed outside
And the pistons hissed on the sick old rides
I pressed my rolling eye to the glass socket
And peered on in.
A guttering light rose and flashed
Illuminating a mirror of glacial perfection
Cold and still and polished
And in it, I saw my own distended pupil
Straining against the veins that held it in
Bloodshot and sulky
And we regarded each other, the eye and I
For time without timing, lazily blinking
I sighed with the crashing of my boredom
And as I did, I saw my mirrored eye suddenly sliced
Bifurcated almost imperceptibly
Cut in two by the tiniest of cracks
And then again – the crack doubled
And again, again, spidering across the glass
The fractures spiralled, silent and irrevocable
And my eye became two, become nine, became legion
All staring and blinking and darting
And seeing and seeing and seeing and seeing
And I gazed upon an army of myselves
And the dozens reflected in my eyes saw themselves back again
And so were thousands, and millions, and more
And they saw me and I was afraid
Threw myself backwards from the tent
And ran. Left those infinite copies of myself
Sharing stares and winks and rolls and tears
And threw myself blind into the night.

*

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