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You purple-tongue parched

air, dust-sieve to                              You tilt: yellow-eye amaranthine

sip afterbirth                                      sky, divine

of stars.                                                dirt, pious



You stem brush

-fire, persist                             

desert                              You riff idle breeze,

scree.                               (fi)lament

                                           lyrebird                                           You grief black

                                            shrieks.                                          -throated finch,

                                                                                                      sorrow wallum


You ossuary bettong, paradise

parrot, rat-roo, hopping

-mouse, dusky                                       You rapture absence,

flying-fox.                                                 perfume silence,                                                        

                                                                    perfect solitude,            You shrine dayfrog,

                                                                     ghost dark.                      eastern quoll, white

                                                                                                                 -footed tree


You catacomb wombat,

dunnart, grass

-wren, leaf                                You who have Lazarused

-nosed bat.                               through planet

                                                      -ary shifts—

                                                      all of this

yet—how to resist blind

loons thick-fisting

for fools'


Note: Boronia granitica is an endangered wildflower shrub native to Australia; all of the animal species noted in this poem are indigenous to the same areas as this plant, and are already extinct or endangered.

This poem was first published in the light we cannot see poetry collection (Salmon Poetry 2021).