We are no less in the dark than you are.
These words are glowworms hanging from the roofs
of our mouths, and we can never really be sure
if they light up when our lips seal them in.
It’s a matter of opening and closing,
of flossing in-between teeth,
of brushing and chewing and spitting and cussing.
If we pay close attention, we will see
lines of saliva
threaded from page to page
and, if the moment is right, the beads of moisture
will illuminate like polished pearls.
If in these words we can catch a glowworm,
then the translation process
might finally begin.
you beat the eggs with your hands and feel trapped
like the salt already sifted and mixed through the flour.
you try to communicate this with another pavlova
which you’ll leave on the table with full-cream milk
and some strawberries for the workers
who have been busy all afternoon picking up hay
they would probably prefer beer
but that would mean going out into town and that’s not
really something you’d like to do today and besides
you’re trapped like salt remember? you can see them
coming in now with bits of hay poking from creases
in their Levis and their hair and it reminds you
of when you were a kid and you found your father slashing
away at a scarecrow with a machete you remember waiting
for him to calm down and once he had left
you crept up to the scarecrow and kissed
every cut in its checkered shirt as the workers take off their boots
and troop into the kitchen you watch a bee
that was sitting on the bowl of fruit
fly out the window and away.
sometimes when a sheep dies
the workers string up the corpse
in the woolshed
and cut off its head
the organs in a plastic container
chuck them behind a bush
skin what’s left, cut it up into chunks
give the meat to the dogs
at friday night drinks
a rouseabout found a skull
under the wool table
he used some twine to tie it
to his head like a helmet
and everyone mistook him
for a god