Olive green blurring to dirt and the sky white as paper. Currawongs. Isolation.
Tree branches curled in brace position
and leaves with tips like seismometer needles
in the awestruck eye of morning.
The night before we’d driven up a steep ramp
to oblivion, drawn heavenwards by music.
I’d written down what I could hear
which was poetry.
Waking up behind the wheel
with moon dust on the windshield, caking us in.
We burst out into bushland and saw a bird,
rare as a platypus, with AstroTurf plumage
and a traffic cone beak. Our totem.
It could only be auspicious.
We would marry each other and buy a hut out here,
call it ‘Glue’. I’d set up a typewriter
and write poetry nude. We’d have children.
They’d be tan skinned, like you.
The bird flew into the sky and pierced its glass.
Ice rain peppered the ground; ice shrapnel.
From the deck we watched a wallaby hop
like a soldier who’d wandered into no man’s land
as, for minutes and minutes and minutes
the snare drum sound of hailstones
cried war, war. It was a queasy beauty
and we watched, queasily, in silence, for minutes.
The wallaby gave up and huddled by a frail tree,
snout twitching, until the hail stopped.
Then it bounded off across a crystal carpet
bright in the sudden sun.
My notebook lay open from the night before
like a postcard to myself from space
but I didn’t write about the bird or the hail;
I didn’t have the ability.
I was a sculpture, shaped by your hands,
waiting to be fired in the furnace of our breakup.
You sculpted a bird and I was gratified to learn
the wings worked. They were useful
when you threw me out into the air
of my future.