all day I had scratched at the glass
and watched acres shrink in the
drying light.

timed gusts of stale air
lined with smoke
rose from red-dust roads,
the widening of dirt surfaces
as the city scaled sleeping

asphalt and stone
swallowed everything.

blackened clay pinned to
reduced dams, a perturbed
landscape thinning in the
unravelling winds.

as night fell, I combed
disintegrated ground for
any gathering of home,
the airless sky that once
held trees grew a skin

of smoke before
I watched the clouds light.

soon the grasses
became rubble, breath beaten
from my lungs, strangled
beneath the debris and embers
enveloping the house.

I gave myself to the fire-

as I died, weatherboard
piled in sheets of ash around
the darkening farmland-

the world was burning
and my father
had fallen asleep.

Taken from my forthcoming collection Rain Season (Picaro Press).


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