Sunbathing

This poem first appeared in Overland (2008) and was anthologized in Thirty Australian Poets (UQP, 2011).

will only say that your your hint re sunbaths
has saved meh many a day’s illness

—Bernard O’Dowd to Walt Whitman
i shall take sunbaths & eat stone fruit from the goulburn valley
reading your lines again my beloved my only one my sun for you
i shall compose letters lines verses song cycles people will eat
oranges & know that you & i are one oh my mouth full of pips
I shall spit out words & watch them there in the grass speckled
& wet & the galahs will circle above us wheeling & shrieking all
through the evening's long denouement pray they can hear us in
our nests of wisdom squawking in our new language each breath
a southerly change or a billowing tent of dust in cathedrals we
shall linger together preach at coat-tails of strangers bellow
at believers & those they call 'godless' in glades of deception
for ours is a new world master a world made of people not
based on colour unless it be the colour of rivers & blood still
in veins or of the sand in glass or the wind through grass & if
cancer has a colour let us eradicate it from our rainbow we'll
make new sounds spoken by leaves that people can actually read

O hai, you were saying?