My bitumen blood marries cells of red brick dust
through my arms, to sprout bark chips and aluminium.
My breast cracks its bones, its arthritic carbon, my lungs
singing in a Keatsian smear, tinnitus with polyester,
superphosphate and tailings.
It’s not all I have, as I feel it in, as it drips me out.
Wait, there’s more, blue as plastic, and fine as soursob
in a suntrap, girt by traffic and potash, BBQ sauce
and lymph. It’s not all personal nor a definition
of smoke, flakey rubber, failed macadam, or space junk.
My piss flesh flushes a pro rata scenario, a form on a form
of cloud banks. I love my viscera though it all hurts.
Everything that’s killing me is killing me, as if I’m chipping
a small line, pushing excess capacities into wave machines,
with things of sand and tin, a metallic sky that welcomes me
with a high ‘hi’, with strings of helium, holdalls and hemp,
a fertile toast of ancient jackets, a kilt and wings.
There’s a future frenzy blasting my precocious whitened nerves,
some spermatozoid trance in the disco of my drains,
my skin and its sulfates are every day engendered in
the church of carbohydrates, paleolithic junk food.
For surely I can fly this thing, or parachute true.
I extemporise a chorus with my collective diesel which blows
a baguette of taste enhancers, drizzled with asbestos
and joint cement. It clots my breathing, pierces me awake, spinning
in the mist of phenomenon, busy as an overture, a rom com,
or the 60s, shortsighted as Marilyn, or a train through snow.
I have no opinions about nachos or unicorns.
I’m fresh as meat, sugar, or rot.
Jill Jones has published nine full-length books of poetry, including Breaking the Days (Whitmore Press, 2015) and The Beautiful Anxiety (Puncher & Wattmann, 2014), which won the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry. Her most recent publication is a chapbook, The Leaves Are My Sisters (Little Windows Press, 2016). Her work is represented in major anthologies including the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature. She is a member of the J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice, University of Adelaide.