A haunting

Wading into fallen stars that stream towards the mouth of forgetting as surely as Heinrich von Kleist’s self-appointed gun I catch a glimpse of your mask, Orfeo. It is red like a child’s first blood. It smells of wattle, musk and frangipani. It sounds like mirrors smashing shadows though the moon is high and full of Dürer’s kinetic hues. As the curtain of the archive of the world of the living lifts, I see the heart from which I’ll die: it is surrounded by swans taking on the hour’s changing colours. I hear Dali’s aphasic metaphors and Kandinsky’s asphyxiated screams. Wait for your otherworldly cry. It is like crystal shattering one thousand and one nights from before the invention of rainbows and it does not end. D minor.

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 stories and ten volumes of poetry. Kaosmos and Tracks, both published in 2020 are her latest poetry collections. Songlines is forthcoming. Hecq is a recipient of the 2018 International Best Poets Prize administered by the International Poetry Translation and Research Centre in conjunction with the International Academy of Arts and Letters.

© 2021