(The Frenchman’s Cap area is one of the most spectacular parts of Tasmania. It is wild, remote and quite inaccessible…)
Sometimes, an ordinary life is a kind of ecstasy.
Ordinariness is an art,
a sour wine-making,
a hive robbing,
a harvest of strangled sweet peas
tipped over by November gales.
My lover and I have never kissed.
Tonight I put new seed in the tiny trough for my birds,
and I laughed at the sweetest weight of their bodies
when they fluttered and perched on the side.
I love the hands of old people, though,
not so long ago, their fingers frightened me.
Tonight, I ate mussels with crusty bread.
They look like inner labia, and the ocean taste reminds me
of oysters prised off the rocks by a mother
who always carried one sharp knife, and hid the others.
I suppose it’s ordinary to love a man the way I do.
People do it all the time, and, from the outside
it seems plain enough. But from inside, where I live,
it is the most extraordinary of accidents.
My love is like stepping backwards to take a photograph
and falling to your death.