If I could write

(for Karen)

If I could write  –  these words would film your teeth
and fur your  tongue.
February sand would sear your feet
and glaze in hazed and cauldroned light that heats
on cracking backs at drying racks beneath
a Murray sun.

These words would rattle slatted lattice, spin
in wind around
verandahs, rasp the last of leaves that cling
to Autumn vines, sweep drying greens and swing
the Coleman lanterns through the dark, They ’d bring in
outside sounds.

If I could write –  these lines would lie engraved
with mirrored trees
like those the river images when days
drain slowly out like shrimp~tins. Weed-greened waves
would suck at them and then these lines would sway
and smell like reeds.

And smell like paekirigsheds, spray, winter/rost
and drying-trays.
These lines would breathe like sulphured apricots.
Instead, with all their noise and colour lost,
they creep here seentless, cold and mute across
a silent page.

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