Ask yourself, when
have you been most happy?
What slips in, unexpected,
swiftly as a cat turning through a door ajar
is that moment
driving alone on Freestone Road, as you crest the hill
and breach the decline where the whole
landscape is spread out below you like a wide bowl,
rough-glazed and stippled with the husks of gathered crops;
the bounding quiet when you hit the sealed road,
the car seeming to glide on water.
Beside the verge the pale grasses fan towards new stars
just now being sown in the same dishevelled scatterings;
brown horses turn away and shake their manes.
The light seeded with grey so all the colours draw in their breaths
and the seconds pool like heavy drops
on a leaf-tip, then plunge;
the dip in your stomach as you press down
and the needle rounds its own crest.
Speed—you wonder why
you crave it; why your friends know you as calm.
But you are calm, as you tip 140 on the empty narrow road,
the moon the one blind eye on you.
Emily Bitto is an Australian writer.