2000kms in
and you knew every scar on her body with your tongue
and a few more besides
she didn’t finish your sentences
knowing how that annoyed you
but should you have been struck mute
there were a couple of key anecdotes
– seemed everyone the country over
was going to ask the same fucking questions –
that she could have quite ably completed
maybe with a little more panache

you had both contemplated driving –
you liked the idea of her feet
brown and warm
on the dash
but neither of you had cars
and it seemed easier, which it was,
to borrow a bike
only one friend said that it was a bad idea
that divorce was for
buying a new set of Ping golf clubs
and sleeping with cute girls with accents

eventually, the succession of town
and camp and pack and ride and rhythm
and town and pack and camp and bush and ocean
and ride and ocean and town and bush and camp and ride
began sending you both quite mad
or quite sane depending on how the sun was rising that day

staring at road signs,
pedalling for the impossible to move
to inevitable
to arrive
some language lost meaning and
you both began to speak
in the nonsense repurposing, hypenating of
Australian town names that had previously
been nothing more than “imagine-thats” on weather maps

“Darwin-er gets the first shower”
“Car-na-von – we won’t get there till dark”
“We better Bal-go it’s so hot already”
“I need to P-erth so bad”

you stopped calling the friend who was collecting your mail
because nothing at all important could be arriving in the mail
there was the shift of a lizard under leaves
the dreaming of dust motes over the river
crows feasting on road kill barbeque bitumened
wind that smelled of honey
wind that smelled of grass
wind that smelled of a family’s cooking
of the slack grease of a takeaway in some no where
no account town
and every morning, the deep blue dawn,
her body waking to your body waking
or your body waking to her body waking

some unnameable time later,
all the things you had both seen
the boring, the plain, the broken, the clapped out
the beautiful, the soul aching, the mouth gaping,
the blue wind, the sharp nights, the vast skies,
the ruddy dirt, the angry bar, the broken bottle
the unhinged door, the open mine,
the swill-oily river, mothers pulling children rudely by arms,
daughters sneaking cigarettes,
boys pulling bongs in the back of a car,
men with faces like fists through walls

she said, “I just can’t see the justice in anything”
after nine thousand kms
you had earned the right for diminutives
so you said:

“my love, it’s just-ice”.

Categorized as musing

By Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, cyclist, writer, gal about town, feminist, freewheeler, and friend.

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