Joel Ephraims

Summer Salt

Screen melt,
exacerbation of mirage.

These days get tyred,
moths to the flan.

Hallucinogen mass,
twirl of tar snail trails.

Transition lenses at bowser,
beached cardinal.

Loop hole death flu,
clear air djinn city.

Puddled Greenland,
feel-good storey.

Whale of justice,
rage markets.

Radiator woman,
forward looking.

The Sticky Blue Lemons

They came up overnight,
thousands of them,
millions over the summer,
billions into next spring.

Your mother, drowning in her bulk
bought toupée tape,
rocking in the peak
of an aggravated El Niño,
has foretold their becoming forever socketed
as new ball joints
in the latest version
of the human anatomy.

‘They’re the same old things,’ she said,
‘exacerbating the same old problems,
just with shinier faces and bigger thumbs.
We stick to them like insects
because they are attuned, mathematically, to our texture.
They are exploitative, lab-grown
Velcro with only a pretense to care.
They sprout our watery eyes and rosy cheeks
and we love them as ourselves
and gaining much we sacrifice much for them.
That has always been our way.
As lemonade stands buoy
breezy childhood streets,
nourishing even into the sourest depths,
to the very roots of elderlyhood,
so these are for the eternal present,
standing us up through our very blood.’

Driving the private school children
to their monthly special-interest destination
your father almost killed them all, swerving almost matter-of-factly
when they rained down on his meter-squared windshield,
more abundant even than the ballooning spiders of summers past—
torrential — there!⁠— having lace-patterned the glass
with a blink even though he knew they were strictly a digital phenomena.

You, your sisters, your brothers, your grandparents, your cousins
of ascending numbers removed have all profited steadily
and are optimistic you all will continue to do so,
despite your shiny blue-skeletonned parents
only now accepting their role in the up-staggering fold.

Sixteenth cousin thrice removed, Thomas Rodd: ‘If they keep us happy then it is a given they are
of the substance of happiness. Our unusually extended nuclear family are almost finished
planning for Christmas in Tromsø, where the polar-night days are deliciously ornamental, lit sun-
like but, critically, not sun-same.

Joel Ephraims is a NSW South-coast poet who is currently working on his first full-length poetry collection.  His poems have appeared in OverlandCorditeOtolithsThe Weekend Australian’s Review and other places. He recently guest-edited issue six of The Marrickville Pause.

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