Poetry | on arriving in australia, 27 december 2000


as if numbers
can measure how
dark immigrant skin
is dark enough
to be blue
under strobe lights
carnivorous jellyfish
dirt-brown blood an ignition
of nightmares & sweat
the machine of the body
deserves to know that it isn’t
real
that none of the measuring amounts to anything
& that man or
woman there is a salt in our
blood that poisons us like seawater
& that only in the drowning
will we awaken

Pooja Biswas

Pooja Mittal Biswas is the author of nine books of fiction, poetry and non-fiction, with her ninth book, a collection of poetry titled Hunger and Predation, due to be released by Cordite Books in 2023. She has been reviewed and interviewed in the Age, the Australian and ABC Radio National’s The Book Show, and has been anthologised in both Best Australian Poems and The Best Australian Poetry. Pooja has been widely published in literary journals and is currently pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Sydney. She was awarded the Stanley Sinclair Bequest Scholarship for poetry and was longlisted for the British Science Fiction Association’s Best Non-Fiction Book Award. She is a sessional academic teaching Creative Writing at multiple universities.

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