Tenor and vehicles

Fact: things are like other things. Supposition: liking

tweets is like a simile. A house on fire. Like

an inconsequence. My love

is like a rose. A daikon radish. Birdsong

like a car alarm. My love is like

a transuranic element. Or a glass half full

of milk five minutes

from the refrigerator, suspended

between palm, floor,

and the condensation that coats it.

Fact: some things are something

else. A thought is a single

-celled organism. Supposition: to speak

is a rhizome. My

love is a vowel sound. An assonance. A

round mouth’s red. Fact: the poet tells

me my bones are already ninety

percent cold

war detritus, which is to say

the act of telling bears the fact, not

the bones. Fact:

a prophet is always a poet, but not the reverse. A prophet

is an apocalypse. An apocalypse a sheet

pulled off a rear-view mirror. A moment’s

sun is days, minutes, or millirems. Accumulation

a spending. My love is a spatial category. A semiotic

decomposition. A childhood is a Kodak film

canister, or

a rawboned calf

muscle in white knee

socks. My love is

a poet. My love

is the face of a poet really which

is the face of the hunter half

transformed into stag or wounded

dog. A doe is a laurel tree. My

love is a baseball bat. My love is a wound

-up clock spring, a temporal

dissonance, a metaphor

is conceit, my love is like my beloved

is the species of dark

and warmth that closes

over hands

in coat pockets in

an air-conditioned room.




Shastra Deo

Shastra Deo was born in Fiji, raised in Melbourne, and lives in Brisbane. Her first book, The Agonist (UQP, 2017), won the 2016 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize and the 2018 ALS Gold Medal.

More by Shastra Deo ›

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