Tass Holmes (University of Melbourne, Australia)
You live in Sydney,
near a main street where the traffic spits and fits,
starts like a fast-motion, time-sequenced streaming.
Buildings here are old like the ones in Sydney,
the ones near public parklands, with sanded red-brick
walls, on one of Young’s Buildings, as marked,
with brick or clay-pot chimneys,
triangular verandahs, and views obstructed by elm trees,
one in limey spring green, one in fir verde.
It’s time I wrote but have long-since lost track of your
address changes, since you took the cargo-boat
to Argentina, since the evolution of Meniere’s Disease
in your life, since your marriage, of course, and my
Description of you: last seen at Romeo and Juliet,
in the park, kissing a blonde, near a naval canon.
In any case, Anthony has inspired me again, this time his poetry collection
not his albatross collection, speaking of marine themes. To date I have
left behind a whistleblower – nondescript and brash, and a Catholic priest –
he was a lemon, two pharmacists – who were rude to me and impatient, and one
Italian primary school boyfriend – a true friend who knew how to wait for a lady,
plus one German-background high-school sweetheart – a teenage lover who was
‘So Cute’! and an online internet-dating contact – anonymous – of that name.
Not much luck I know, but, come to think of it… maybe my next boyfriend
will be named Anthony. Maybe we’ll meet on deck of a boat in a cold wet
hissing wind, rolling cigarettes, and his wife will be missing him. Her husband
will sit chatting to me, gratefully, even before it all starts. Or maybe I’ll see him
resting under a black wattle at the bottom of the hill, consumed by Vata and
Summer Heat, tall and windblown pushing a bicycle, and consumed by longing
for me. Or perhaps, just maybe, if I ever have another son, I think I’ll name him
I’m going to dinner, an African restaurant with friends, in
a main street, where the traffic etcetera. Speaking of Africa,
do you know that in the country the mynah birds never
practice synchronised flying, but here they do? My hand
has a new brown stain, iron-rich dirt smear, vanishes when
I look at it, ochre-like remnant of a painting. Yesterday I
saw three square paintings in a gallery hanging, each green
background tan subject white walls, when my eyes were
closed. Yes I do I wish I was back out bush, on the land even
smearing tears with the back of a dusty grubby hand.
Sucking nectar out of punctured honey-ants proffered by
kids from the north-western desert. But I have to go
to dinner. If he was my next boyfriend, yes I do I wish
Anthony was there.
Tass Holmes is presently completing a PhD in the Dept of Anthropology at University of Melbourne. She has a background in complementary medicine, and yoga, enjoys folk music, and lives in the bush.