Poetry | The ASX pours from your chest

We squabble about the money skimmed
from our drudgery, the barbs lift
enemies from our skin. At the end of shifts
we are lathered in sweat and the day is night;

cars move above us and I have blood on my palms.
Your teeth are broken, we are old
we are the same, we have always been here
we are layers of dried paint. On our best days

we are birds, we are flocks of laughter
we are dawn. When they grind another hour
from your skin, new enemies appear.
They burst from your chest frothing,

phones in fists, plastic in pockets,
they will never hold our eye,
they will talk to our foreheads
they will beat us with chains —

then park their cars in the street
outside our house and wait to mark
our children with their stares.
We will not let them steal us

we will turn them inside out
we will feast on their feebleness
we will make ourselves sharp
we will slide an answer
into their throat.

Rico Craig

Rico Craig is a teacher, writer, and award-winning poet whose work melds the narrative, lyrical and cinematic. Craig is published widely; his poetry collection Bone Ink was winner of the 2017 Anne Elder Award and shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize 2018. To find recent writing visit https://ricocraig.com/

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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