If I were a rock or blood sea, I might drill out this heart and flood it with something more spectacular. More capable. A new kind of touch. Perhaps some place for the goldfinches to return. I would pay more attention. Be more aware of beats that slip away through fingertips, plumage and shin. Mouth open to brackish water. I would take more care.
Beneath the surface, I would swim the grounding lines, a vast system of blood vessels—arteries, veins, capillaries, eel pits and crab dens. For 100,000 kilometres I would roam, circumnavigate the organs, slip between the tips of bleaching coral. If I were a pool of crimson blood, or even a glass of it, I would draw the world in sanguine lullaby. Break the lips of every verse with segments of sharp winter orange.
Embrace Australia’s finest writers: subscribe to Meanjin
Subscriptions start at just $5 a month — which goes directly towards our writers’ fees.