Bronwyn Carter

Croak (for Vincent's birthday)

The girl cranes for the corrugation
and right stand of gums: Sarah’s
entrance posting. We’re slowing
across staggered shadows.

High range ratio of tree to steer.
The bull has thrown himself at the gate,
scarily warping the frame
while our mothers drink tea.
We roasted apples.

On the hill, violated land swims
in a silken sea of charged grass
light golden, sanctified by molecules
of childhood play.

Cross-legged in the present
bearing the weight of it
wearing a green v-neck: la grenouille
eyeing a large print of Van Gogh’s irises.

Which is real? Time coursing through me
and pooling on the floor; the spaces
in the brains of the three men in the room;
breathy margin of their vowels; desire
and walls in their eyes?

I hear Tim’s voice now
always laughing at inanity;
well, it’s not music, is it
and I thought:
you dare to eat a peach?
I’m the mermaid, sadly not
singing, but riding these waves in.

O Vincent
what if you were here in this cozy, yellow parlour
breathing down my neck; crackling beard
and eyes of fire?
Would that you let me hold your hand for the night.

The road rises, the road falls
painting clouds bathed in prayers
transmit interior landscape cleansing
of trees which break to bend.