For T


Jaded by social media’s incendiary pulse, clever
endings, dragnets into which you disappeared,
dear ellipsis ... whom I almost named ‘Forest’…
A life too brief, the prize I let go casually
pursuing the thought of words, those genderless
species, their bristling matter. Tenebrous tenses,
like today. Waking a year later, in your bed
nothing to smell but ash coating the paperbarks,
my throat pungent, your pencil case by the pillow.
Noticing on the carpet things you didn’t pack 
in suitcases that Sunday he broke down the door
threatening me with accusations, and I wept.
Photocopies, history notes, a cobalt blue wig,
coloured contact lenses, the purple taffeta halter
neck dress, its zip broken, your calico totes.

A wasp, bewildered by vapours as Bredbo burns
surely, a good omen (carrots for the sugargliders).
Never having rescued insects you come back,
water for my tongue. Remember those afternoons
baking clay lizards, sweetly cursing my gas oven?
Perhaps it is real; we swap rooms in the awful heat,
rehearsing sleep, waking to sirens, a currawong’s
faint song, the sky spitting rain after pyrocumulus  
Does it help to say that for all the lucidity of loss,
                      memory is malleable?
The climate denialists promise extravagant slogans,
that we can restore life, we can end this drought.


"As a poet, my process embodies scrutiny over invasion" – Reflection – Michelle Cahill