i’ve drowned and dreamt this moment

with your disdain
i am already acquainted,
i know it
like the shutting jaw
of door, all
without having yet
met truth’s eyes
with yours.

with your disdain i am already
acquainted. a first for me,
having hardly shaken hands with
many of this texture. with
the shutting jaw of door
i hear its waves passing
the distance between us, i hear
its sin sin sibilance, its
fallen awaywaywaywayway
breaking the shank
where our knuckles meet.

with your
disdain i am already
acquainted, never having been this
distance apart, – that which is only
breath, which is only
light –, and never having looked
it in the eye nor
traced its fingers.
we have only gestured –
hello, goodbye, thank you,
now only approaching the
midpoint of a hug
when i feel the slap,
already guiding
my chest
backwards into
another room.

duet for a 23-minute work

Wanted: Lighting Designer

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toetoe 

two

certain nights

behind the locked door drenched in husband’s sweat
as he fights wars in his dreams
you must remember decades ago, before The Sacrifice.

in your son’s room finally shuttered shut for a night
could you forget life before the sacrifice, for lives almost
past, and for your new life, their new lives, a new strain of
Love? before the names of intimacies, before
your jet left the streak that broke your hands from hers.

is it easy to let slip from mind’s vocabulary that
the distance between two girls can be negative, too?

some nights, certain nights

you must remember decades ago before The Sacrifice
for new life and new lives and a new strain of
Love. what was the space between two parts, or
two hearts, or the fingers between two distances?
before the Names of intimacies, and after?

the breaths between Lover and Godmother must
have been an elephant marathon for her. how many
words did you take to cross that line?

Morning, Frontier

I wake already turning
to find you in my palm.
You bend your knees
to lift my hand
towards our nightlight sun, breaking
the moon in half so
newness of day
comes
bleeding. I wake,
already drowning into
midsts of a lava-skip
and a blur of language.
turn to feel you curl
into my lips; how
they part.
Limbs of light
like dancers
unfold into stretch,
about 
to make a sound.

till we are new, and forgetting

if lovers misplace their lovers’ names in time
if parents shrivel into pupae promptly with the church bell’s shatter
if drawers are stuffed to suffocation and finally purged to dust, to leave no room
            for the opening of eyes, or breathing
if windows take apart our visions and shield the next-door lanterns, and our
            interiors from water
if a child takes a finger across tabletops, and smothers the thunderstorms to come
            between his teeth
if brothers shrink at touch
if stuffed penguins are exorcised in the wash, and emerge smelling of detergent,
            their skin stiffer, organs solid
if beds are stripped of muscle memory
if we lose our owners
if door handles creak
if cuticles peel away to no blood
if you have dropped your scarf into the wind
if the world is silver and our feet must drag rust across its surface
we walk out into the sun and swallow light, melting again and again and again
            and again and ag

SEA

Half-submerged are dancing dots, or
limbs, sliding in a bowl with windows.
Unaware of their assignations, they are
already balancing the disc

peering out sideways towards islands.
The blade cuts the sea in white
against grain, against the blue-greens
that straighten into undulating mountains –

homes shifting, or relinquishing their
statuses. Between lands there are other
dancing dots, or limbs. They are scaling
mountains, but the peaks forget themselves

protrude as nationality instead. In the bowl
passports weigh heaviest, and without
engines, urge their holders forward.
Arriving at a denseness, there is a sense of

knowing. Two fishermen in a sampan, pulling
endlessly at a net. The weave tangles with their
fingers, we have been here before. In the distance
ships are still chopping away against the grain, towards

a child’s black marker outlines. Their edges
tremble, prodding into sky – steady breath
white as yesterday, which is only minutes
away, fog grey as the cuff of tomorrow.

pudding puddles

there is a picture of us            at three     hotel room
Perth   Perth 2003       stretching buses backwards like gum   then
tickled as they crash themselves into walls      sweet.
these buses     you said       had great suspension
so things won’t break. i start learning about
automobiles in this way. at east coast park
we fell off the bike but it was accident thing only.

there must have been a picture of hands
leaving puddles on each other, after pancakes downed and knives
teetered on their clatter and lego robots muscled down steps,
         after
finally pulling away. warm and then never again after.
children’s hands often do not remember how they had plunged into
the bowls in the first place, until they re-emerge,
drenched in butter. sometimes one hand thinks the other
a cousin, later a sister it realises it never wanted.

like other pictures of us there is a kia carnival speeding
around the Bend, OR.     high shutter speed; aperture too large.
picture of kia carnival toppling over into bleached gum,
drop of blood on paper pulling out of flosses.
the kind family in the ford behind were
mutants, surely. kia tore immediately out
of the sticky, flew into another country. when did we notice
you hanging from its boot?

there are no pictures of us walking cities before arriving again
at the origin. there are toy cars skidding between our hands
but these vehicles have spat their engines, ah beng revving.
something drifts and the ground forgets its friction. only
the hunchback grass of parking lots live to tell the story of wheels.

i amm m wa lllk iiiinn g o uut o      ff a p icttt t t t urre nno lonng errr
ddd ecip heeeerrr    aa    blle. llee e eeeegs        d r r aaa gg g   g g ing
ccccc   ollooo ouu r acrrro ssss  la s veggg as lig httts
liiike           sstttee pppi ng   oooo utt   of a aa ppuddd ding tto
ww w ww     walll k       liqq  uuor iice   ss  s  ttreeeets,
     ff  f eeet tt sttiiill hea  avv     vvy,
llle aaa viiiing puudddle esss      oof   ss weee    etttt