Rectitude

Gratitude, platitude, attitude, joy
apostate, sensate, reprobate boy

the road back into Brisbane was
so boring and ineluctable
you both considered
packing the bikes onto a bus
especially after Sydney
which was as disappointing as Christmas
with all that senseless spangle and ersatz glitz

you detoured inland into some
sleepy, dreadlocked, weed-steeped towns
which highlighted only that she was,
as she said, “no hippy” at all

as the distance diminuendoed
the gradual silencing of
away to home
you began to think of reason
and cause and explanation and purpose
of logic and all of the anti-God
that underpinned the sentence
you were going to have to say

“I just spend a year riding around Australia
with some woman
I didn’t know
I didn’t own
I didn’t have
though I might now love”

and you had done it still

because the body wants what the body wants
the mind knows what the mind knows
the heart loves as the heart loves
for the soul is as the soul does

that last morning, when you both knew
that there would be nothing but
the tundra of the Gold Coast
the grotesquery of high rise and highway
transplanted pines
nuclear tans
and signs proclaiming that

“you could have your own slice of
paradise, starting from just $495,000”

the sky still threaded gold with magpie song
and the dew of the deep blue dawn
your body waking to her body waking
her right cheek full and soft
as she lay on a compression sack full of rolled clothes

and as gently as if you were a stranger
who had just handed her a $5 note
that had fallen from her wallet
as if you had opened a door
to her arms full of groceries
casual as if you were folding the sheets
or folding and creasing a sheet of paper
scoring and aligning and creating
the miracle of an origami crane

her lashes carving the inches
only between your face and her face
she blinked and said, quite slowly,

“thank you”.

Published
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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