6159835924_1cd2c95580_z
Type
Poetry

Peripheral drift

Turns out you can still pash in a graveyard

at 28, though by now my fear of spooks

has faded into a more realistic fear of people.

There’s a torch in my back pocket. Her hands

smell of graveyard moss and bug repellent

flush with riverside humidity; mosquitoes hunt

us hot and damp on the edge. Figures scuttling

in the dark. Later, the sceptic tour guide explains

how we interpret threats in our peripheral vision:

shapes in the rear-view could be anything,

but they’re probably not the undead.

 

 

Right now, we’re waiting for the tour to start,

deciding whether holding hands is a thing.

The night this country tallied its paper yesses,

that’s what we were finally saying to each other.

This week was the first time someone yelled

a slur from a car since I was a teenager.

‘If only people would mistake me for a boy

when it’s convenient,’ she said, not taking

her hands off me then, or now, even when

we hear a branch crack, or blink at torches

fluorescing the trunks of gum trees.

 

 

 

 

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.

Zenobia Frost is a writer based in Brisbane. Her poems have been commissioned by Red Room Company, ABR’s ‘States of Poetry’ and the Commonwealth Games Festival. A Queensland Writers Fellowship supports her work through 2018.

More by