When I arrive he says he's sorry for being
a bad man. He's shaved his head 'cos
his brain is burnt. He bows to present his crown
so I can see the mark. He says he's turning
black 'cos they're feeding him humans.
He's actually a tan colour, a mix of rollies and
pacing in the sun. He smokes the Tally Ho
he got for his birthday. His thumb, calloused
and stained, flicks the butt he holds in his tremoring
fingers. A grimace flickers over his face
like the home movies of his childhood. As we drive
he taps the quiet car radio. Yeah, arrrrrr,
that's the source of the problem, right there, that's where
they're coming from. He shrinks into his seat, laughs,
and runs his fingers through his scalp. Last week
he was God and showed me how he made the Swan River.
In high school he was Mojo Rising, but as I drive away
looking in the rear vision mirror I see my boy.
Natasha Adams (Western Australia)
First published in Creatrix