Samiha Radcliffe


He says he wears us close    like his skin

Afternoons I balance above sleep   laughing

the quandong of the sun!

the nectarine showers of the sky!   Faith

the name is skinned from me  a circle

inside a circle inside a circle    inside

His pot bellied stove makes a tent    of us


Those sisters can sit in their clothes as if naked  

In our minds it’s a homecoming  

yet they paint without seeing

us   the waterhole the honeyant the fig

the place where the blue tongue lizard split

the Rock  

Shiva   the hood  

Ganapati   the trunk

If every betrayal paints a trail overland

Is it already over   The land

between us   The vigilance   We

white dresses   a portfolio of rockets  

a dingo in the night calling the children

with the lit tip of a cigarette


We take from him like bread like a tooth

something that mends the heart and breaks it

Tied together by dusk’s silver snake   searching

for a rope at dawn  Still

he travels he tours

Below   the buried placentas   above

a family of trees

In these nights we are burning the bones

of the ancestors   yoking shadows together 

See how he is lit with our darkness

He shines   him shining

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