like nothing you’d ever said to me

fly away peter

Like almost everything you’d ever said to me, you made it seem gentle and honest, contented and reasonable. You opened the door and inside was a warm house, an inviting fire, a glass of wine, the lamb some six hours in the oven, softening with the garlic and lemon and rosemary. On the floor was a cowskin hide, the bookshelves reached the ceiling, my father’s record player stood in the corner, for you had fixed it finally – after all these years – you let me play “For the Roses” and it was true, you turned me on, I was a radio, I was a little bit country, a wildwood flower, waving for you. A broadcasting tower, waving for you.

I came in for a little while, to put my books upon the shelves, some knicknacky things amongst them, a salvaged frame, a slight arrangement of the cactus trees.

And then I went out.

I woke up from the dream and I was drawing on my thighs, deciding just how many centimetres across to make you my canvass.

I remember the day. What hopefulness, what euphoria. I was planning a tattoo of a feather, remembering to stay light in the world. I had decided that I could live in this body and acknowledge it for all it was and could be. Later that day, junkies stole my credit card and I found out you were dead. At one point, walking home, my father called and I told him you had died and I hadn’t known because I was petty and silly and inconsiderate and vain, so I had missed your funeral and didn’t even know if you were buried or cremated. And probably you never know how much I loved you, how very kind you had been to me, how much that meant. Crying so hard I couldn’t see to walk across the road, I sat down, crumpled really, and felt the summer footpath hot against my thighs.

Have you ever unfolded a paper crane? And smooth as you might, you could never lose the creases that were testament to that plain square of paper having been something more magical? Yet knowing you would never be able to refold it again?

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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