before dawn

he wants her in the
before the bird chorus
and the idea of daily news
breath like silk
cheeks flushed
body warm from the river of
dreams running through

he wants her in the
hair spooling out in rings
wild bracken water
nuzzling her skin
mossed wet rocks she climbs
to dry off

he wants her on the
flesh open to the sun
skin turning in the
golden light
eyes closed and flickering
remembering her dreams

Kathryn Lyster (Australia)



They forgot to make me a boy. I was born and everything. Smelted in the forge. I’ve got a good bowl. Weighty handle. But they made me a not-boy. I know I’m a boy. I can feel my cock. Or perhaps it is the stirring of power tools. How can I prove my boyness to you? Or should I proclaim to be a man by now? I do not count age by years but soups. I know I am a man because I do not want to be a woman. Must find a beard. Waiter there’s a hair in my soup. I want to fuck things. I’m always hard as stainless steel. Maker’s mark stamped on my spine. I want to fuck things up.

Monica Carroll (Australian Capital Territory)

Isolator by Monica Carroll book cover
Monica's new book from Recent Work Press