where yellow-spotted goannas lay their eggs late in the wet season or early in the dry sinuous with whiplike tail fierce long claws she digs a helical burrow down backfill dead end across backfill dead end down backfill dead end across backfill dead end down backfill dead end corkscrew spiralling down twelve feet to soil that’s cool and wet she digs a chamber the size of two clenched fists and lays her eggs backfill up backfill dead end across backfill dead end up backfill dead end across backfill dead end up backfill dead end Ten days later she emerges from the earth into brutal sun her fork tongue flickers in search of food where yellow-spotted goannas lay their eggs tightly-packed labyrinths corkscrew spiral merge collapse erode ventilate the earth with megacities of lizards snakes scorpions centipedes beetles ants frogs high-rise densely-populated ecosystems where yellow-spotted goannas lay their eggs baby goannas hatch with long claws they scratch straight holes to the top emerge from soil to sun or moonlight their forked tongues flicker in search of food infestations of cane toads colonisers invasion species sugar plantations dry warty toxic corkscrew spiral lethal dead end yellow spotted goannas dead end underground cities dead end complex ecosystem dead
Gaele Sobott lives on Darug land in Western Sydney. Her publications include Colour Me Blue, a collection of short stories, and My Longest Round, the life story of Wally Carr. She was awarded a 2021 Varuna Writers Space fellowship and shortlisted for the 2021 Queensland Poetry Awards Emerging Older Poets Mentorship. She is the founding director of Outlandish Arts.