the garlic wife

my parents honeymooned

in niagara falls. it’s an old


story. our bedroom walls

stained with parliaments,

model planes, a tired


stamp collection

I found, years later,

in the kitchen drawer.


there were also pinking

shears, rosary beads,

a collection of unwanted


tradesmen, miracles

hourly, in neon, pulsing like the last

sun rise of a failing earth.


later, he moved

to a desert place, slicing

grapefruit in a new language


I married by the ocean

in a second-hand veil

astonished by the weight of my dress at the ceremony.


Nellie Le Beau


Nellie Le Beau’s poetry appears and is forthcoming in Australian and North American journals and anthologies, including ‘Domestic Violence’ (Westerly 2020), ‘Primary Examiner’ (Rabbit 2020) and ‘On the Level’ (Cordite 2019). She is a a 2020 Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellow.

© 2020