opacities, royal park

out on the circle
where swallows cut sky

we settle, invade
thigh-high grass

picnic on each other
stein for deleuze, a

rug’s thickness shy of
the australian gothic

i short-throw hope
like there’s no

delusion, just mutual
rosy opening

we swapmeet sweet
heady nothings, note

the presence of the
absence of something

on one elbow, your
hair backlit, you

declare yourself my
covid curtain lover

i skirt the unspeakable:
lover or lovee, see

you rise on cold feet
to shake the blanket

backpedal, gaze on
policed, peopled oblongs

such empathy in your
hard lockdown heart


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Emily Barber

Emily Barber holds a PhD in creative writing at the University of Melbourne. Her writing has appeared in Overland, Cordite, Verity La and Hecate.

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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