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.





Zenobia Frost

Zenobia Frost is a poet from Brisbane whose latest collection, After the Demolition (Cordite Books), explores pop culture, queer joy, place attachment and belonging. She recently received a Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award.

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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