Rhythmic Oscillations

There is still light
already diluted
one last morning

you told me
head tilted towards the ground
that I had no sense of space
or maybe that was my own confession.

I might have been jaywalking
across a Sydney street
counting breaths against a backdrop
of honking cars

I breathe out
breath condenses
sound disperses into air
heat into dust.

You sing and there is no song
chords become the body
the body spins
the spin is atoms

time, of course, is up
that’s not news to anyone
I try to be sad, but all I feel
is desire, kiss the ground
lay down and roll
like our dog after it has been washed
cover myself in loose dirt
the sheer luxury of it
coarse against my skin.

Lying here, in imaginary bliss
I know what we’re losing
the price of failure
it’s too much, too little
there is only now

sky-blue, stone-blue
sapphire, indigo
heartbreaking blue
the Earth breathes out.

Magdalena Ball


Magdalena Ball is a novelist, poet, reviewer and interviewer, and is the Managing Editor of Compulsive Reader. She has been widely published in literary journals and anthologies, and is the author of several published books of poetry and fiction, including, most recently, Unreliable Narratives (Girls on Key Press 2019).

© 2019