Tracy Ryan



held under

anyone’s chin,

though unrevealing

of preference,

merely transferring gloss,


hot lustre

nothing but mirror

a proffered face

in multiple –

so many the same on offer!


I could never wear yellow like this,

my undertone cool,

distorting to jaundice


thus I keep distance,

but recognise


an intimacy nearly sisterly,


with guidelines built in,

for luring to pit,

to spot,

to nectary –


or you can poultice it,

bring up your red,

your blood,


the pounding head, the tooth,


curing your ache to the root.



Tracy Ryan is a Western Australian poet who has also lived for long periods overseas. Her most recent book of poems is The Water Bearer (Fremantle Press, 2018).

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