Blue water and blue fibreglass
reflect the sun. Salt and cinnamon
grease our battered skin and pumpkin flesh.
Still-damp costumes chill our nipples
and trace wide outlines
of our arses on the lounge.
I have the Jack of Diamonds.
It’s my left bower.
I shuffle my suits to suit
this new addition.
The breeze is ocean light
and jasmine shadowed.
A four-o-clock sky is perched
on six p.m. Someone has called misère
and we all groan
sure he’ll fail to lose.
Butter melts and salts the gravy
soaking – not saturating – white bread.
Sesame seeds swirl on plates.
Chips, like greasy fingers
poke through our closed fists.
Someone grabs up the kitty,
gives the aggravated sigh. My mother
says her father’s phrase:
“Lead ‘em like you got ‘em”
And the wet chlorine tooth of my hair
splats a droplet on a suicidal king.
Tegan Jane Schetrumpf
Central Coast Summer was shortlisted for the Jean Cecily Drake-Brockman poetry prize, and was first published in that prize’s subsequent anthology, Long Glances.