Out the screen door
into the musk
of night jasmine, I slip on
my gum boots,
pass the termite mounds
through lemon-scented eucalypts
to squat, wary of jumping jack ants
on the old wooden seat, overlooking
the moonlit mountain.
A spiral of flying foxes
squabble over palm berries.
The air is charged with the swell
of cicadas, a koala’s guttural growl.
My soles are pressed to packed earth,
head bowed, alone under a kite of stars,
There’s something elemental about damp
toilet paper, the act of balance
over the hole, slapping mosquitos,
picking a leech off an ankle,
smearing the blood.

Laura Jan Shore


Laura Jan Shore’s poetry collections include Breathworks (Dangerously Poetic Press 2002) and Water over Stone (IP Picks Best Poetry 2011, Interactive Press). Her work has been published in anthologies and literary journals on four continents including Magma and The Best Australian Poems 2013. She lives on the far North Coast of New South Wales.

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