The expat reconsiders

I’m back planting shoots
in a back garden
where every blade of grass
switches off the sun
its two faces in my sky
five languages I can’t hold

Be my Taxi rank seatbelt duty
free cigarettes boarding pass landing card

I miss the crust
of summers baked bald
crackle of cicadas
churn of the surf
the body’s effortless
holding of breath
in a listless garden

Be my Charles Austin from bud to full blown flower

Be my hyphen

I watch seasons change

I grow thin and cold
sprout a growth
not quite a child
tend tough roses that catch
their second wind without me
knowing their names

My hair falls
like autumn leaves
and the idea of me

les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle

Be the finger that pulls the trigger

Be my last breath

Dominique Hecq

Dominique Hecq grew up in the French-speaking part of Belgium. She now lives in Melbourne. Her works include a novel, three books of short stories and nine collections of poetry. Kaosmos (2020) is fresh off the press. Dominique is a recipient of the 2018 International Best Poets Prize.

Note: ‘Les feuiile mortes se ramassent à la pelle’
(Dead leaves are picked up by the shovel) is from a
Jacques Prévert poem made famous by French singer
and actor Yves Montand.

© 2020