Jo Langdon is a literary studies PhD candidate at Deakin University,
Geelong (Victoria, Australia). Her published fiction and poetry includes
work in Mascara Literary Review, Wet Ink, Page Seventeen and Voiceworks.

Bird dreams

The air is grained with light
& you step through it

past the quince tree strung
with prehistoric fruit.

Somewhere hidden,
insects click their metal wings.

It is the house that calls you

a small staircase beneath
porcelain bells of wisteria

where afternoon's peach-coloured
light leaves a sunbed for the cat

seashelled in sleep & hiding
bird dreams.



Girls who refused to swim
for Phys Ed class

are chasing screams
into the water

again & again,
feet thundering the planks,

the moony glitter
of their toenail polish

caught by light.


Beneath the boards, smooth
like dry bones

small breaks of water
lick every surface.

The city lights & horizon
of chimneys

bright & liquid in their

breaking, mending.


Here the light leaves you,
& slowly

snow is coming down
sideways to the street.

You have been written out
of small histories

& now want to talk
about zoo animals in winter.

In the Tiergarten, a wallaby
still in falling snow

its small, dense body hiding

& what you would have made
of this
with someone to tell.

Air alters at dusk; mountains
darken, shift nearer to
the sun.

The light leaves you here.

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