Poetry | Domestic

For a while I pick the glass
Out of her hair, which is gorgeous—
Ombre peach and gold.
She holds my hand and won’t agree.

I leave her in front of the tobacconist,
Full of the language of murder.
She wants more money than I have:
I give her hand sanitiser. Did she ask me to leave

Or did I just go? Hard against the night
We forge, forgetting, forgetting. I clean my hands
At a sushi restaurant, my thin hands,
As weak as wheat. When I go to sleep

I dream of them both, altered.
She sits with glossy brown hair
In my cousin’s salon, gazing
At a swatch of sunset colours.

He watches me silently as I flick
Through a family album. Look, I breathe,
We share a star sign. He shakes his head,
No. We share nothing.


Gemma Parker

Gemma Parker is an award-winning poet, teacher, PhD candidate and student member of the JM Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice at the University of Adelaide. Her work has been published locally and internationally in Award Winning Australian Writing, Transnational Literature, Tokyo Poetry Journal, Mascara Literary Review and StylusLit. Gemma is one of the co-founders and managing editors of the new Adelaide literary journal, The Saltbush Review. She lives and works on Kaurna Country in Adelaide after many years abroad.

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