After Dorothy Porter’s ‘View From 417’

I am making a habit
of all this walking into
then out
of my chest.

Making my rib cage
a revolving door
of starts
and stops.

Hiding a jack-knife
behind my teeth

And lungs pumping
a pair
of blustered bellows.

Washing sparks into a throat,
birthing them grey,
soft and rolling

into the blue.

And you did it right to the end,
or at least in my head
you did,
down to the last
‘can’t believe my luck’

dot… when my 417 finds me,

dot… I will find its spine… and break us out.

Dot, when I go,
I want to go down singing,
breathing out
a wisping sky,

having loved the world,
having drunk it dry.

When I go,
let me greet the end
with a jack-knife tongue,
a throat raw and smoking
like a shotgun.

In a blast of sparks
into a wisping

Let me walk out of my chest
ready and lucky,
wearing a ready

What parents know

The thousand iterations of an empty box

The sound of a whole ocean’s breaking across the sterile fluorescence
of a delivery room floor.

The finger paint that finds its place not on the canvas but
in 1, 2, 3-4-5 once I caught a fish alive shaped dots across a belly.

The paint brushed absent minded through hair,
or poked inside a nose to
sneeze its way back out in dripping Jackson Pollocks of blue.

That we are most full when we are poured out
into two tiny upward reaching hands.

That miracle is just a collective noun for a mind unfolding
into the world, and all these tiny finger bones.

That we raise our young, not just to make a life;
we do it to save our own.

Brother Poem

One day soon,
sooner than you think,
all those Saturday papers,
all those Sunday morning coffee cups,
will quietly gather dust like artefacts
in some kitschy museum
of what once was.

all the slow Sunday wake up stories
will be finished,
filed away
and strangely unmissed
as the only story you wrote that will
ever really matter howls
her good morning metaphors
at 5:00
or 4:00
or 3:23
or whenever the fuck she feels like it really.

And soon her ‘you,
hey you,
I need you’
lungs will
split the quiet so perfectly
that while you’ll crave it like a fix,
a strange and stretched out part of you
will come to hate the quiet.

And soon,
her milky smell skin,
her eye scrunch toothless grin,
her midnight wake up burps,
and all the other kinds of pink,
soft- limbed perfect
will wrap themselves around you.

And when she falls asleep against you,
her strung out froggy limbs spread across your chest,
her little knuckle heart
brailing away at your breastbone,
her tiny snores
harpooning all that shared air,
you’ll breathe your life
into her lungs,
and retell all the stories
of all the things you ever did that brought you here-
to this moment
to this amber light rest
and you’ll see that love,
and purpose,
these things make no mistakes.

And soon,
sooner than you think,
probably a Sunday afternoon,
you’ll lay on your back on a blanket
spread across your backyard lawn.
She’ll be standing on your stomach,
holding your hands and dancing,
and there, against a perfectly blue sky
she’ll sing you are my sunshine,
and every star forged atom of you
will dance
and everything ever named
as god or love or fate
will reach down
and blowtorch away your broken parts
and there,
in that singing minute,
you will be perfect,
you will be whole,
and you’ll sing back.

And now for something inconsequential and cute

Some days are grey corners of quiet libraries
where nobody bothers to read the books.
Where piles of unmarked papers
and the river passing by are cause for catholic guilt.

Some days are shallow holes dug in front yards
filled in with trips to Bunnings,
grinning garden gnomes
and bags of chicken shit.

Today was a pyjama babyccino date,
a laughing hose in the face,
and a two year old smile saying chase me.