In a dream there is a veil of water between us,
your face green with algae:
my mirror image, separate, waterlogged
in a world you trail within you.
The Aztec water goddess is you, who grew
the hearts that were thrown to her
into a prickly pear tree, each fruit
unpickable, embroiled with the spines of love.
How we climb
halfway out of ourselves to be together,
having only each other to throw to each other.
There is only the world to crack
the shell of self, the shell of us tight
In the Pilbara,
humpy spinifex stiffens in silver light,
a silence carries us as we walk,
balanced on the thread of what binds us,
you stopping to photograph every wildflower,
your sharp crouching focus
joining up the landscape like the echo
of changed and absent spirits we can barely sense, something
charging the earth that bows up to the sky.
Of this place we know little, it holds us
as you hold me in the night, distinctly as the red kangaroo
that uninjured touched our speeding van,
the smudge of its fur on the white paint.
© Petra White
Appears in the author’s book of poetry A Hunger, John Leonard Press.
A Hunger can be purchased on this link: http://www.readings.com.au/products/18778221/a-hunger-with-the-simplified-world-and-the-incoming-tide