Published in Overland Issue 209 Summer 2012 Uncategorized Making Love (to a man) Michael Farrell Didn’t think I’d hear from that man again, but then there was a message in my inbox. Within five hours we were in his bedroom. His hair is not computer hair, it’s straight and black: turntable hair, old school, calligraphy brush hair. He’s three-dimensional: changes as I move around him, first on my feet, then on my knees. I’m on my knees — he’s on his back. The bed’s hard but I don’t say anything. Talk only leads to more talk, well it shears off the strangeness, which has crept back since last time. It’s Melbourne so we still haven’t completely undressed. Then as if signalled, we both shuck our jeans. I could be the 400th man in his bed. This feeling is a bottomless one: I hold the back of his head; he shrugs. As if shrugging’s a joke. Like he could embody ‘jerk’ right now in some clever way, and I’d still know it was a joke. From his shaking skin. From his eyes … of a minor equine. I put his glasses on The Women’s Room; they begin reading avidly. The other men on my ‘husband list’ will probably never put out. This man will not say ‘give me a baby’ tonight. I put my head between his legs like it’s three courses: not greedily exactly, but carnivorously. I can fish in him, starfish him, anything at this moment. That moment – the one where I think I can live with the consequences of anything. Like his saying ‘Psychology, n’est-ce pas?’ as if knowing I’d murder his armpit next. It’s the no faux pas zone. (One many writers desire.) His lips are unavoidable – the wrong side of the road. My heart rides back up from my stomach. I can tell the time from his blood-hum. We go into each other, then back into ourselves, physical’s only part of it. (We feel a debt to strangers, a personal expenditure. So many are never strangers.) Every touch till now has been a relatively subtle punctuation. Exclamation marks are called for – if there’s to be more than a pause for thought tomorrow. I imagined him mumbling, ‘edit me’, and I think the textual’s worth working on … He thinks I’m a humble country boy, I’m a sex zombie reentering the world of emotion,via his postbox, or flowerhole tucked down at the ground. It’s making me want to change a law, be a father. Go the other way, be a robot. Write pop lyrics with semen on the Lower Town Hall. You’re legislating my arse to pieces, he says. Michael Farrell Michael Farrell's latest book is Family Trees (Giramondo), which includes 'Fiat In Turin', published in Overland 229. More by Michael Farrell Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 25 November 202225 November 2022 Poetry Poetry | Summer animal Jini Maxwell This summer I can feel myself turning back into an animal. I wake up early and seek out trees, walking through the expansive quiet of the park until the heat starts feeling sharp on my skin. I leave the blinds closed, so when I return home the building is dark and familiar, and as I shut the door behind me I feel a satisfaction I can only describe as territorial. First published in Overland Issue 228 24 November 202225 November 2022 Politics ‘Sir, please get me the Manager’: Brazil before and after Bolsonaro Guido Melo By then, although young in age, I already knew about those rituals of humiliation and how they were part of my Black family's lives. I also knew that surviving those daily interactions required putting my head down and following the instructions received with no hesitation. I must have had ‘the talk ‘with my parents when I was eight or nine. Life was just like that. Being Black in Brazil means living in a war. No one should ever go to war underprepared.