Poetry | Noble rot

At night, the outline of the lake changes,
the street hunches around the park as
fruit bats click past like frenzied metronomes—
most nights, I’m in Montmartre;
the gully of your navel grazing above me,
shadows collapsing, paint unpeeling.
Or, the musty barn-house in Altstadt—
your shoulder blades cutting through
the darkness like a shark fin,
hay stacks brighter than sauternes.
A global pandemic has happened
since you happening. A whole other
monument to life, resurrected.
They say a new world war is starting,
that tomorrow has never been
less certain, and normal is forever-gone.
Only now can I write that
desire melted the snow
and stopped the blizzard.
Or, that when you finally left,
I paced from corner to corner
of this sad city, with no end in mind
and watched the sun rise into the
embarrassment of people fleeing
the terror of those who’ve loved them.


Georgia Rose Phillips

Georgia Rose Phillips is a PhD Candidate and a sessional academic in the Creative Writing program at the University of New South Wales. Her debut novel, The Bearcat, is forthcoming with Picador in 2024, and she is at work on her second novel. In 2018, her creative non-fiction novella, Holocene, was runner-up for the Scribe Nonfiction Literary Prize. In 2021, her short story ‘New Balance’ was a fiction winner in the Ultimo Literary Prize. In 2022, her short story ‘Beyond the Marram Grass’ was a shortlisted finalist in the American Association of Australasian Literary Studies Prize.

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