Published in Overland Issue 232 Spring 2018 · Uncategorized Strawberry dawn Anders Villani The current sluices through her toes, rendering them in duck shit. She picks at a whitehead on her shoulder. She wears a bra with solid black straps, sheer cups – expensive. He doesn’t wear any clothes. He didn’t notice her remove it, but her navel diamante is gone. They have smoked too much ice. Anyone but them could see that, but there isn’t anyone else for kilometres. Everyone is either asleep at camp, or off dancing. Overhead: dawn red-gum ashtanga. Inside the pipe they smoke from, smoke more, it’s bituminous. As she swims, she tongues the gap between her teeth – bloodshot contortionist urging herself through an enamel frame. Green mud daubs her emergent belly. The deadwood outcrop slime grants her fingers no purchase, feet no traction, so he pulls her up. They get to be kissing, the sun gets itself ascended, influential. She tastes of chemicals and river water. In vain they try to fuck in the water. This is the third morning in a row that they have not wakened. This has nothing at all to do with it. He mentions the cat and axolotl cemetery, beneath the Monterey pine in his childhood backyard. He plays dumb when she asks him was he at ejaculation age for his first orgasm. That supple rime the axolotls got, white shadow, before death; he mentions it and laughs. Deep down, they’re drawn to each other for the hyper -commiseration, the overtasked body. At different times their heads return to the home key after vagrant harmonic wandering. Strawberries ripen on blue vines. They smoke more. The Murray parents them. Image: Axolotl / flickr Read the rest of Overland 232 If you enjoyed this poem, buy the issue Or subscribe and receive four outstanding issues for a year Anders Villani Anders Villani holds an MFA from the University of Michigan's Helen Zell Writers' Program, where he received the Delbanco Prize for poetry. His first book, Aril Wire, was released in 2018 by Five Islands Press. He lives in Melbourne. www.andersvillani.com More by Anders Villani › 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 1 December 20231 December 2023 · History ‘We’re doing everything but treaty’: Law reform and sovereign refusal in the colonial debtscape Maria Giannacopoulos I coined the concept of the colonial debtscape while working to understand the relation between debt and sovereignty in the wake of the 2007 Global Financial crisis. Despite the referendum held in Greece in 2015 where the people voted against austerity, austerity as punishment, was imposed anyway. As this was a colonising move, that is, the imposition of an external and foreign law on local populations against their will, it was to Aboriginal scholars here that I turned to begin to put the pieces together. First published in Overland Issue 228 30 November 202330 November 2023 · Urbanism The Plains exposes the psychic terrain of Victoria’s highways Fred Pryce The Plains charts the psychic terrain of the freeway in miniature, peeling back the lid of the private vehicle to expose just one of the millions of dramas taking place in simultaneity, severed from one another yet still part of the same city-wide traffic ballet.