Izzy circle


sometimes I think of falling in love
as being like people running towards each other
from really far away, pelting headlong towards
that tiny little dot growing on the horizon

and the closer they get, the more they can see
maybe they start running faster, urgently,
maybe they slow down, or maybe one of them stops
and eventually, both of them do

maybe a metre apart, where they can get a really good look
at all of the other person, from top to bottom
maybe with their foreheads pressed together,
hands entwined and chests touching

or maybe they are twenty metres away,
tracing the outline of the other person,
just noticing the colour of their shirt
and the flash of their teeth – smiling I think?

some people plant themselves right there,
decide they like the view, or stop looking and sit
some people step forward again, slowly
a lot of the time things happen that push them back
and they start to step backwards

sometimes something happens to make a person turn
and run furiously in the opposite direction
until maybe they bump into someone else
or they just keep running
to an empty horizon


Sarah circle


I am lying on a massage bed, stomach-side down
In a shopping centre in Ivanhoe, with no door to the salon
So I can hear the grand symphony of Coles checkout beeps
Kids squalling in the aisles, trolleys bumper-car-ing about
With my head squashed unnervingly into a vinyl sphincter
And a woman beating my back with her rolling pin forearm
Pushing my skin into the caves under my shoulder blades
Where there is, frankly, not nearly enough storage space
She batters my buttocks with the tips of her elbows
My toes curl under, my breath turns ragged
She pinches and slaps her way around my arms
Tweaking the nerve that sets off my funny bone
Splinters of pain rocketing into my palms
And there, with her hands so close to holding mine
I feel five years old again, wearing my big pink glasses
Putting my goggles over the top, to thwart the kids who call me four eyes
‘I’m six eyes, now!’ I say, and they snarl like wild dogs.
I am five years old in this big old round body
Looking through a rabbit hole at a pair of sandaled shoes.
And lying here, tormented by those ruthless hard hands
As they charter a path up my fast bruising spine
And the Chinese-burn sting of my finger-clamped flesh
I am holding my breath so she can’t feel me cry.



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