What is the world of breath?
The air is a huge forest blowing
Is matter always in flight?
Everything bends with love but can’t be folded in a box
Was I once a sea, a very small one?
Every night is the morning of my death and my resurrection
How often have I floated so that I could rise?
All sounds end with sky and ocean
What kind of magic is rain?
I am the dust of an asteroid, the blink of an atom passing another
Aren’t all corners special?
Here are the great laws of photosynthesis, volume, gravity
What is the dark matter of love?
The endless turning atmosphere, the shaping wind
Where is the sky’s origin or end?
Air is gold with starlight when I step out towards the sand
What is it about rending that seems sad, isn’t that a kind of making?
As if this underworld was clear and cool, or a place to hide
How often has my breath caught on my body?
Matter in the end is always light
Isn’t time a kind of detour, but necessary?
The dust of others, waves of grass
Isn’t every discussion an unravelling?
There’s this assonance in things waves tracks days
Is it here you stop making sense?
Crows circle above the shuddering trees
Robe, 6 December 2020
Jill Jones was born in Sydney and has lived in Adelaide since 2008. Recent books include Wild Curious Air, winner of the 2021 Wesley Michel Wright Prize, A History Of What I’ll Become, shortlisted for the 2021 Kenneth Slessor Award, and Viva the Real, shortlisted for the 2019 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry and the 2020 John Bray Award. In 2015 she won the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry for The Beautiful Anxiety. She has been an academic for a number of years, but has also worked as an arts administrator, journalist, and book editor.