I remember standing on the dunes, night loosening,
sunset’s crimson ribbon stretched along the dark spine of hills
wallabies darting hurriedly through the reserve, the phone
ringing, a crunch of tyres over gravel, the high beam of a 4WD,
a commuter or a surfer in his ute passing while in another time
zone, a man on his way home from work pulls over by roadside.
I know his song, the voice is lustrous as abalone shell, words
neat as haystacks could tumble down to crush my bones.
a clavicle or collar bone, a circle of wrist the darkness penetrates.
We laugh carelessly, under a panoply with the stars, on parole,
each of us guilty of negligible crimes. Yesterday, I drove back
from Penneshaw, dodging possums, echidnas, Tammar wallabies.
I almost hit the bulk of a kangaroo, tannin-skinned, strapping:
she hopped slowly, awkwardly, off the bitumen. My front wheel
ran over a parcel, softer than timber, and I screamed. So many
animals die this way; someone writes a book of recipes for roadkill ̶
The forecast spells rain and lightning; it is almost winter, months
since the fires burned deep scars, yet the absurdity of bonfires
ablaze on the hills, the farmers drunk, landholders slashing the fields.
How to settle the value of a stray sheep in the museum of massacres?
Neighbour, lover, I witness the force majeure, with seaweed in my teeth.
The man drugs me with his delicate tongue, and I rise, rebelliously.