Photo: Chris Harris
Distant crimson bleeds into paling light
to scab an edge round
lengthened limbs and hooded leaves
of box and gum;
Blackness quickens until only
ventricles of cherry-lime, capillaries
of blue and pin-pricked white
hold back obscurity.
In the sinking night a lone mosquito sings
its thread of rising sound
sharp and present as an axe blade
against a hollow sky.
Sensing an edge to impress
proboscis swoops, steadies, dips
and taps a vital seam that throbs
along its nib and further up and in.
Irritated hands, reflexive, clap at air
while the sated singer flees the ruptured skin
muffling its full-blooded voice
in a shadowed corner.
iii. Christmas beetle
At the window, outside, wanting in, a
Christmas beetle taps its wings
with Morse code regularity
inscribes its love of light entranced
in dance steps on the pane of glass.
As the darkness body-presses
up against the house, a woman meditates in words
upon the frame dividing night
from day and dark from light
herself from the horizon and those lives
held at a distance.
Spellbound at illuminated limits of the visible her
fingers lap-tap screen-keys, unleash
algorithmic clicks of digits, navigate
a silhouetted border proximate
to those rapped by the beetle and mosquito:
all impulses poised (in species’ cryptograms)
to pose their parallel desires
to entertain (in parallel manoeuvres)
the sustaining illusion of light.