Jaya Savige


for Chris Lilley

I seem to have a death wish.

I interrupt one of the Maroubra boys
to mock his neck-tattoo of Ouroboros,
then watch his angry vein emboss
his blanched yet bulging Southern Cross.

I guess I like to make a splash.

Sometimes I don’t know what comes over me.
See that bearded bloke
who looks like Ragnar Lodbrok
with a perm from circa-Eternal Flame Bangles?

I just informed him his leather jacket
is missing a possessive apostrophe
in the word Hells, to indicate the Angels
belong to it. (‘And you don’t want to imply
                                                 there are several Hells…’)

Infant Speech Bubble

Voice is peculiar weather, where language is
organic sausages
of air—processed
cloud meat, piped into the rennet of a breath—

and the simple truth
is Papa’s words are mere indentured wind, yoked mist;
his every utterance sentences the ambling gust, the lifting fog
to life in the moist gulag

of his lungs, where even grunts and groans are harnessed
breezes, and all his song is sky repurposed,
and the ruins of heaven
are forever rewoven,

so, watch your language buddy
up with rainbows. Ready?

Fiona in Victoria Says

according to her handspan on the screen,
an Uber from Gozleme’s in Melbourne
to Kakadu

would set you back as much as one from Lisbon
to Istanbul; Newcastle to Perth, Tehran

to Kathmandu;
while Bunbury to Cooktown far outstrips Boston
to the Caymans. There is a decent chance

Great Britain fits seven times in Queensland,

and three Northern Irelands
could squeeze into the Bight—the aperture
below the Nullarbor—

with her thumb near to Dublin, South Australia,
and her pinkie stretching to Esperance

Jaya Savige was born in Sydney, raised on Yarun/Bribie Island, and lives in London. He is the author of Latecomers, which won the NSW Premier’s Prize for Poetry, and Surface to Air, which was shortlisted for The Age Poetry Book of the Year. His next book, Change Machine, is published by University of Queensland Press in 2020.

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