8 Jun 2009

The Plumbing -- Jennifer Maiden

[1949–current, Australian]

The towels are already
stained red with clues.
wash-stand, bidet, shower
walled with slimy tiles, all
the colour of bad teeth.
The sleep
to people the dark with sighs.
The meal is bread soup. The china
tea-stained, hot. The broken cup
serves clotted castor sugar.
All injuries
the dull air soothes
the sickliness repairs
Due to default, the blows,
my clothes were wet, unkempt
and I was shrunk in them, and so
I had to come here after.
“You should have known
I’d be here: I’m
as losable as water”.

Source: Maiden, J 1979, The Border Loss, Angus & Robertson, Australia.

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