Poetry / Toby Fitch


Attracted to all things electrical, you passed along the way like a weird
      storm then returned, waxing lyrical about your adventures: the glow-
           worms that lit up the tropics like guide-lights on a runway; dinosaurs
              grumbling in their graves; the plethora of cats that scattered when
                 you moonlighted as a monsoon. And what about those ant-sized,
                  funny-looking apes pointing up, fawning over your tresses (like
                    twisters they’d seen on TV)? Magical spices from across the
                    way incensed a certain inability to stay put — the pull of
                   turquoise oceans, and vermillion clouds yet to unsettle.
                 You left me in your wake: cities of electrons leapt from
               state to state, erasing to-do lists; umbrellas lifted off;
           thunderbirds and fossils quivered at your flights of
         fancy dancing on their arrivals boards. I could feel
      a tremor whenever you kissed another, the great
     bite of opposing time zones, but no — the lure
     of a new language, the smell of grass, dirt and
     rain, foraging for alchemy or hang-gliding w/
       juvy dragons — you came to pine for a less
        personal kind of love, an ascetic on snow-
         caps where landslides of quartz fell deep
           through deserted lakes. After a disserta-
               tion from a nomad who’d hobnobbed
                   with the gods, you split the atom with
                         a lightning rod looted from Olympic
                                towers — rainbows and whirlpools
                                       erupted in the sky! It was a fitting
                                               salute. Now here you are on my
                                                     doorstep, my old dog Cerberus
                                                            humping your leg, here you are,
                                                                 replete with impulse purchases…
                                                                   though who’d begrudge you the
                                                                     souvenirs: a leviathan in a tea-
                                                                     cup, a snow globe of the Sahara,
                                                                   various trinkets from the Under-
                                                                world. Love, since you vaporized,
                                                            a cosmic war has given the stars
                                                         the creeps, I lapsed with an old
                                                     flame, the water’s been unsea-
                                               sonably luke — I swim in vol-
                                          canoes so my flesh can sting
                                      like it used to. I thought you
                                  were a myth, that the pictures
                              of the back of your head, sent
                           from distant photo-booths,
                         were some kind of cruel
                        joke. What a ruse! Remind
                      me never to look your way
                        again. Argh, scratch that:
                          before you vanish over
                              the horizon, can we ar-
                                    range to bump into each
                                           other at the equinox,
                                                  the southern cross or
                                                            the northern auroras,
                                                                    unrepentant, on the off-
                                                                              chance we might earth
                                                                                        each other once and
                                                                                                for all? or will you
                                                                                                     pass along the way
                                                                                                         again like a weird
                                                                                                           storm, with a wink
                                                                                                           and a wry smile —
                                                                                                         lightning striking
                                                                                                    root through
                                                                                                stone, the sea
                                                                                           going down
                                                                                      with the sun,
                                                                                   fire falling
                                                                                back into
                                                                              — the

© Toby Fitch

‘Oscillations’ was shortlisted for the Peter Porter Poetry Prize 2012 and published in Australian Book Review.

Toby Fitch’s Rawshock was a co-winner of the Grace Leven Poetry Prize, 2012. It can be purchased directly through http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/rawshock

Images: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s