Indigo Perry

Playing in the Dark of Winter

Looks like falls down mountains this afternoon.

And hiding places in the 
turning-around of ears.       I've shouted at 
one man  this week.       He laughs and calls it 
a whisper. 
Dug in 
like fingernails to deeper layers 
of the snowdrifts inside.                             Can a voice break the skin?          
played note received like a paper cut. Opening up. Channels for drowning in. 
Screaming-dark crying stuck like a glued sore. 
                           A child with hands held to
            cross over her face         and cover 
                 her eyes so

                  can't see
               her.          Laughing quietly 
                 at her

She doesn't look as she 
     thinks.        Not            
  Just transparent.                Her emotions 
shallow and transient. Puddles
   when she hoped     for oceans.
         She tumbles              in 
     waterfalls  in a dress that folds and shimmers like refractions of light, but           
everyone else 
            sees a woman   cumbersome   falling off
 chairs and tripping over her feet.

                        (I am dying 
                        to        cry.)     

Sliding along 
 the dust-sharp floor, skinning my face.            
               And there is nothing. 
                          An invisibly risen heartbeat.
               The quietest drum, resonating in a 
  moment already gone.    Toes curled inwards to keep 
 it all out and in until something 
gives way.     But           it doesn't. 
opened and poured   and 
still no truth.     The threads and patterns for truth are twisted into 
blocked airways,       wounded cervixes,   knots in 
necks     and sick bellies.         Dry mouths that 
forget how to kiss.     Unsteady fingers that forget how to 
scratch with bones to make marks and take possession.
                Roughly rocked roads broken through, to 
 remember. And then pretend to forget.         
               I want to trust the other     and I 
keep hearing a ragged-raw voice
                  pulling me inwards
        until I’m shattered 
china reforming to a skin with a texture like moonlight – 
                              Make yourself so fragile

                                that you are unimaginably
                               What's most true is what   is 
                                 most purely
               The ecstatic pain of being played
    until I am pure instrument             vibrational     and
                                 the instrument dissipates,   to tune, 
                         to moment.         To falling.
Falling asleep in    
             the middle of speaking
a sentence,     so

                that the other must
                   lean in to kiss the 
                    falling softly 
the sternum.      It was made of rock,
       but if you 
           approach, it may 
be malleable, beach-washed cartilage of
cuttlefish.         I'm soft fontanelle 
                               baby bones
                                      in the presence        of
   and depth that
     don’t run out 
      with a hard 
thunk and 

             How frightening
    to hear 
from the inside that
   if I want to be 
   then I must 
         I'm all finely 
     shattered blue
   remains   and     hidden
            and stolen 
    caresses. You
      can put your hands 
       through me 
          as if through a spiderweb.)
                                       You cry, easily. It’s dark in here and our   
                                       eyes are under shadow so we can look a long time  
                                       without self-consciousness. My back is to the clouds at  
                                       the  window. You can’t see my eyes and I can’t see 
                                       yours. But I know you cry. Even with shadows  
                                       crossed like hands over my eyes,  I can’t cry.    
                                                                      (And I am dying to cry.) 

Indigo Perry lives in the Yarra Valley, outside Melbourne. Her book Midnight Water: A Memoir was shortlisted for the National Biography Award. She is a lecturer in Writing & Literature at Deakin University. Most of her current writing is poetry, often written in public spaces and in collaboration with musicians and dancers. Her website is indigoperry.com.
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