Anne of the Island stood over a burned, naked pot
Flushed, reddened as the dinner
I am sorry, she said, about all of this —
And the leaves wanted to rattle but there was no breeze
And the worms et through the potato skins
And when the girls had gone to bed the rats came and licked the bowls in the sink
(They do not know they have rats)
They know there is a rotten cactus on the steps that is beginning to smell.
Anne brushes her hair out the window so it might float down and be caught by the spiders and passion fruit vine
She wishes there were grapes.
There is a vine in town that she watches grow
(Though she would not trade the passion fruit for anything)
She waits for it to flower in the hot sun,
When there is women’s stink in the air
an idea of concept—ion
a balloon, floating, and bumping gently against the window
When around town heels are pushed against bedclothes and there are thoughts of opening the shutters
but it is too hot to move,
and the balloon nudges, unnoticed.
Anne of the Island shook back her hair and tugged at the curls in her pits that gathered in clumps and felt as if they had
been dipped in salt
Oiled a little, not cooked ’til later (a gentle broiling on a quiet afternoon)
As the ants climbed the frangipani — it would not be so bad to climb the hill and sit where the dirt is softest.
Eva Phillips is a student of creative writing at QUT. She has never met the editor of the Marrickville Pause, but hopes to one day. She puts photos and stories on pearlandthedreams.com