Rejoice in the Whiteness of Skin
My thighs are cold from where the coke can rested
between them as I drove. By the mailboxes
the ginger guy is staring
again his back against my box,
meat-pie eyes, fixed on the middle distance
not looking at me
like I expect him to.
I should have worn shoes.
I seek out shadow, walking
where the pavement is darkest, where
my skin won't burn. I'm white,
white, white. The sidewalk of my hips
untrodden by your fingertips.
I know it's summer
from the sticky pools
of ice-cream melting in children's eyes,
from the stink of burning flesh
A guy walks past with a fresh tattoo:
the Southern Cross is slick
with blood and fluid, packed
in Glad Wrap like a lump of steak.
I sink my teeth into his arm.
I am so hungry.
Kia Groom (Western Australia)
First published in the anthology Breath of the Sea (Peter Cowan Writers Centre 2013)