Toby Davidson is a West Australian poet, editor and reviewer now living in Sydney where he is an Australian Literature researcher at Macquarie University. He is the editor of Francis Webb Collected Poems (UWA Publishing ) and author of the critical study Christian Mysticism and Australian Poetry (Cambria Press). His debut poetry collection is Beast Language (Five Islands Press).
She walks barefoot in the cut and rush,
she’s learned to walk, remind
through people, barefoot,
as they walk through people,
bared and fooled behind.
In each case, feet set the story:
riven skin on luckless bone,
she feels each sole in the tug of another,
a dance to the sound
that calls the steps home.
Pivots scum. Staccato, stiletto,
the well-heeled lunch crowd
snakes a cracked whip;
upper crusts scolding, flashing around
her hearing back, tough underneath.
Today is not to be pocket dialled
or tired, touching base in the lifts.
She prays and she presses,
divines the right path.
Serious. Consumed. Everlasting.
Epilogue and Origin
Agate and filmy stellate crusts like the first amphibian
(yours too), speculating itself clear of nightfall’s
pounding ossuary . . . I was or wasn’t around, Half-Planet,
depths and folds we mustn’t know; if the tall are prone
disentangle them completely from each trident-shaped
break from homing. Above the New Hebrides Trench,
wisps less laughable than firmament close out furrowed
roughcut paper in photonegative, grain through the gloom.
Before a Hawai’i I never see, netting or losing a day is direction,
instrumental in a desert of cloud (and deserts of continents
are each a Pacific). Your calendared hermaphrodite rides
sidesaddle crying wingtip light at the wonkiest point
of our tumbling cage; one bar loose to squint again, off,
at the cold diversion of a monocled Greenwich who calls
himself prime down your full turning back.