Jan/Feb 2011 Poetry Special Feature


by Barbara De Franceschi


The sky bleeds.
There is no defense against the intimate rush
that pulls the weight from my feet.
I am ten attics high, drunk on metallic clouds
streaked with the blood of an outback sunset.
Endless plains feed the fever,
eyes walk the distance to infinity then back again.
I sniff the wind to test its scent for rain,
green thickets slip from their moorings,
a lone gull blown off course
searches for an illusive inland sea,
from its frantic cries perfected in memory
I am half-ready to believe in a tidal tomorrow.
Pulse beats linked to an abandoned song
pump like the wing-flap of eagles,
goanna tracks trace the surge in my veins.
Muscle is trampled by drought, the gut holds firm,
across open ground obstinate rock
writes my name in mica scrolls / letter by letter—
an eighth wonder visible from the moon.

Familiar country plies the body with carnal touch/
I sleep with red dust clutched to my breast.


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