Waking to a word (or to a world)
with unusual tendencies.
It’s spelled champfilio that much is
plain, a bastardisation of
French and Italian, a portmanteau
sward, a field and a son,
perhaps, and it contains a racecourse
and a thin crisp of pastry,
and an ‘I’ (but it is a lower case like
a modest, upward flex).
“May i speak?” And within the sheath,
the glitter of a well-honed sword.
That word. To come upon it, a messenger,
from the intimate, starlit, uncensored
discourse with oneself, written in cursive
in a notebook, prim and stilted,
(not copperplate like a grandma might have
writ it) so as not to forget.
It means nothing but one day it might mean,
it might be … it might …
so it is written. And now it means this. To
make it sit and be a word, a word in
common use. No more of these words which
ripple in and out of consciousness.
Like the word that drove like a hard-arse
down a straight road, into a city,
a city called Uomo. Oh how she longed,
upon waking, for that very city.
When she found out what that word meant
(in Italian) she went — Pooh.
One (on in French) has spent one’s life
travelling towards the city of men
Jennifer Compton lives in Melbourne. Her next book of poetry – the moment, taken – is coming out with Recent Work in 2021.