He straightens up and looks
a bit less like a homeless person and when
he asks me how my Easter was I think how rough his voice is.
He has flecks in his eyes and I can’t quite tell
if they are two different colours because of the sun
shining sideways across them and turning them liquid.
His lips are dry and I can’t figure out if he has a lisp
so I don’t trust him but I trust him
more than I would trust a man with a Southern Cross tattoo
but he’s still a stranger on a train and Mum always told me not to go with strangers.
My mate Tony thinks he is a cowboy
and tells me all the time how good he is with horses but he
yells at his girlfriend who is
fifteen years younger than him and pregnant with twins.
Her teeth are gross and grey and her breasts are huge and her
dog is way too thin and I wonder
if she can’t take care of her dog how will she manage two babies
and where did she get that bruise?
The philosophy major is a feminist and pretty staunch about it
but he’s so earnest I
feel lost when we talk
I would like to love him because
his muscles are great and he has this smooth tanned skin but he doesn’t
smell like anything
which is spooky.
My Stepdad wears a bumbag and the same pants he wore in 1982 but
he stayed by my bed that time in hospital after I’d eaten a whole bottle
of aspirin and held my hand while they put a tube through my arm into my heart.
He gives hugs with the side of his body not the front and people often tell us how similar we look even though I don’t
have any of his blood in my body.
My blood comes from a distant man who lives over
many rivers and who I have nothing
but words for.
Anicca Maleedy-Main is a Melbourne-based emerging writer, who has worked in universities for the past 10 years to support her addictions to books, horses and cheese. She has a masters in creative writing and has had work published in Islet, The Sleepers Almanac, Marathon Review and a range of equestrian magazines. Anicca spends her spare time with her daughter, dogs and horses, faffing around and being happily vague. She judges people who drink Sav Blanc, women who don’t moisturize before getting fake tans and men who have more than two aerials on their 4WDs. She’s not a fan of the word ‘problematic’ and often misspells ‘assessment’.