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   n z e p c
Michelle Cahill   

All Together Now: A Digital Bridge for Auckland and Sydney             



Lines erased, less than
form. No breath or shiver
stirs my doppelgänger. This void
of corridors leads nowhere, though
I can hear the sound of doors opening, closing.
Smiles fall away to unease.
The light concentrated, refracted by
so small an aperture, becomes brilliant,
losing its object to radiance.
There are discourses of the spectral,
the numinous in which, it seems,
I exist in parentheses.
Tears and sweat accessorised.
My body, sensual, without culture
bears no initial.
My home, 
colonised by language.

There are those who admire the geometry,
these metaphors of space.
Be elevated, they advise. Take in the air,
the uncommon with the requisite.
What is ethics? Not smugness
or complacency. Not prescription.
Nothing, which is not political.


The afternoon cruises,
after badminton, lemonade
and chutney sandwiches.
Voices are like ribbon made
for unwrapping the past.
Syllables of imaginary laughter
blend with the real, as I recall
the warmth of uncles, aunts, cousins
left behind in foreign cities,
Mumbai, London, Goa.
I think of the bright day when dad
flew our kite on Primrose Hill.
It’s hard to say what matters.
Everything fragments,
defers to time’s calibrations,
the long shadows are deceptive.

I piggy-back my daughter
in summer’s leaf-light.
We swim laps in tandem
riding a pink foam noodle, sinking fast,
her tiny arms a choker for my neck.
I’m weak to her commands, her tears.
In any competition, I must lose.
The dragonfly’s flight is a tease
never kissing its reflection,
a cross stitch lacing the pool.
The distant hum of the freeway
sounds like a hole in the heart,
the softest turbulence.
The garden is a green humidicrib.


Tiny holes in the sand
        made of the creeping        
punched in the darkness—
        excavations crabs shuttle,
fugitive worms, ectomorphs
        who escape the pump.
Is it the sea that flushes away
        the darkness of holes?

Undulating wholeness,             
        fine-drawn, a tireless flow
of liquid, spray, ice.
        All this shell is memory—
purling the dark cerulean.                                 
        Inarticulate crustaceans
at whose insistence do
        you sing beyond words?

Water glissando, the inchoate
        waves fugue, unfetter
to pulverise a salty grammar
        sargassum, slapped and stray.
A trio of barnacle, rose, kelp—
        the littoral is cold adagio.
Or sometimes the blue ice creaks
        dimly sounding its name.


©Michelle Cahill