hanahaki

Shastra Deo

 

hospice of amaranthus

field mustard and cockscomb

our landscape jawed no language

of flowers before naturalisation                                   before

I knew if caesium should sound

like cease          seize

or caesura

sunflowers worked in Chernobyl but

I am not yet pond or soil         skin

all that separates

from else

I know

how to look inside myself and ask

which of these words does not belong

 

anther               ovary                bract

stigma              filament           chaff

I

 

am spitting up my inflorescence I

belong to my body like an occupying force

 

time makes less of self

 

I know now how to take up more space

 

bury seeds entire systems unspool

the intestines

avulse and haemorrhage roam of roots the person

moves from first to third

 

it

fleshes into earth into flesh

is not a body so much as gesture is

is not and

on

and on

 

 

Shastra Deo was born in Fiji, raised in Melbourne, and lives in Brisbane. Her first book, The Agonist (UQP 2017), won the 2016 Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize and the 2018 ALS Gold Medal. She is currently writing a suite of poems inspired by nuclear semiotics, Final Fantasy XV, and the legend of the Fisher King.

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