The Body’s Innuendo



At first I only sensed the obvious —
in the body’s crypts there were signs
but I couldn’t read their textured meaning —
there was nothing but the shedding season.

I mapped the crests and troughs
looking to heat to tell me the seasons;
but the knowledge was always retrospective
(you only know the highest point
once you have fallen — and because)

I’d carry the sky in my pocket-mirror
if my iris would flush lilac in the bower.
I’d grow a sparse black lace of plumes
from my elbow
to my wrist, speckles of my skin.
Instead I must decipher this body’s innuendo.


We row in the shallows, suggestion of shadow;
tannins’ wash of gold makes luminous beneath
ornament of rotten log, grace of stone.
We glide beneath the bellies of water birds.
Effortlessly they double themselves
in the water’s black stillness.
The repetition of ripples, comforting
as when your tongue through the dark of me
like a leaf fallen in sweet water.
Loops of light sew the skin of paperbarks.
Without rain the logs will elbow through
to the harsh light of day to become dead-wood.


You hold my hand through the slit of plastic curtain.
The doctor comments on my socks and my
womb appears on a screen, displaced there,
lunar, strewn with shadows.

I wish for a better reception as she
takes the measurement, the egg’s diameter.
I turn my head to the side — through the window
a frangipani blooms; I can almost smell

its sickly clusters of scent. The sky
presses down with all its grey weight.
I feel your fingers come to life
as I clench my fist around them.

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