Wattle Skinned

Wattle Skinned
Hester J. Rook

The land moves in her.

Gum leaves twined like vines down about her ankles around
sweat like eucalypt oil
burning as the firefront races through –
her toes seed pods cracking and bursting in the heat, glorious
with the crackle of backburning.
Her palms spread like currawong wings.

Wrists trace lines, bursts of winter wattle, sun-yellow on grey, branching.

Her legs are ghost gums
green grey and endless, sky touching.

Her hair sparks with lightning
rainstorms like an enemy through her veins.
The ocean pools in the dip in her lower back, a concave of salt and
sand and so much water.

Her spine is jasmine trellised on warm summer nights, in spring
purple with jacaranda falling slick and slippery on the pavement
as the rain falls down.

Her mouth is tessellated with fishscales
lips full and wet with the fat
flesh of mullet, barramundi, her tongue an oyster pearled.
A bluetongue curls around her thighs, possessive
and the sun melts slow, down over her shoulder blades,
so thick and heavy, as

the land moves in her.


Hester J. Rook is an itinerant Australian with an unhealthy obsession with myth, dead languages and the circus. She spends a lot of time scrawling poetry and short stories and upside down on a trapeze. Not usually at the same time. You can find her on Twitter @kitemonster.