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Shore     broken in

of tiny wing
& blinking lid;

we pull in close
as the rocks

will let us. Someone
says, head turning

under the white curve
of sail & aqua:

‘you look so different
with makeup – ’

and then I am
all eyes: glossy

throwbacks in every

harbour window,
staring back.

Sky hot & near
even after

hours – the salt blown
on us & dried

gathers under nail,
a crust to suck

away in nervous
minutes, crowded

in & out of all
the bodies

on the esplanade,





‘There’s nothing I can give you as beautiful as the flowers on the / wallpaper’ — Roy Fisher

Like your sometimes uncomfortable body
according to weather / season / position

you are neither pear nor apple nor egg
timer in curve. Just the ache of the fit,

of your heart hanging fruit-shaped
in your eye – imagined.

The rosebuds repeated
on yellow paper grow only

more beautiful with time, in ways you
will never. Speak softly –

lest your voice fill space like
your bones & skin & everything

that weighs you to the room.
See the floor’s dusk

threaded pattern: the dizzy mess
it makes of your gaze.






Jo Langdon’s first collection of poetry, Snowline (2012), was co-winner of the 2011 Whitmore Press Manuscript Prize. Her recent poems, short stories and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Cordite Poetry Review, Mascara Literary Review, Australian Book Review, Westerly and Overland. She has a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from Deakin University in Geelong, Victoria, where she currently teaches in Literary Studies.