The waiting

‘My lungs burst
like fire in dry grass.
You are scarred from rib to rib 
and it looks like a smile.

It’s loud when the moon’s out —
the dancing branches shake 
blossoms from the trees.

We were gentle when the night fell 
like eventual rain
and we slept like curled dogs 
our hearts jumping at the night owls
and all the birds sleeping.

I called you in the gum drenched dark
and you were just a shiver,
so I warmed myself 
on the curve of your spine.
I can bear it more 
if we feel real.’

Kirsty Oehlers (Western Australia)