Alison J Barton

if a parasite crawls into my countenance from 
your bearing to the fleshy interior of 
my stomach I will live with it   I want 
to be of you 
us of each other        I want us to start 
at your head and end at my 

a continuous
being      		line
     your mouth ovals like a corpse

the diamond between my 
scapula    scent  your mode of inquiry
in the night
you move like cool fluid 
I make my own lines

we warm our skin on each other
as long as —

what language might be in your mind?
clean-linen-books-and-philosophy love

a formless mass 
my hand authorising the pen
dashed eyes from the screen
royal blue dust

fingers curled towards the heart
(a protective gesture)
the upper back    shoulders
rounded over the pulmonary   the 
gait of a woman     unsolved
clothed in scraps
gape to bear

where is the place for human suffering
if not here
where should it be borne

in a soft ice cream mouth
brittle chocolate tongue

Budja Budja, Halls Gap

a mountain gully calling you like Alison Whittaker’s 
white linen at Hanging Rock
calling you like you’re not supposed to be there
like you can’t see the blindness in your own eyes

you crawl through rock crevice without water
in the un-light of a stone cave
notions slip between gaps
history between people,
an un-mendable menace

an old whisper caught in the air
swallowed into the lungs
shadow footsteps just behind
you reach for rock edges with a hot dry arm
black eyes burn on white skin

tiny spirals coil from a dirt ground
the sun long on orange pebble stretches
the still     quiet
waterfall on green 
moss shallow windless

you said you wouldn’t mind dying next to her but you’re not next to her
a baby rumbles in her belly

Alison J Barton is a Melbourne-based poet and book reviewer. Themes of feminism and psychoanalysis are central to her work. She is published in various journals and magazines (in Australia and internationally) and works as a Social Worker. She can be found on Instragam @alison_j_barton
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