Under Seven Sisters

Let’s act like we’re teenagers
and take the long way home, where
a sunflower moon was in full bloom and
tangled in my hair like cobwebs, where
the crooning of yellow-eyed currawongs curled
the sun into a sky of red lightbulbs like the ones
at the club on the corner of
Gertrude and Brunswick St, where
we, marmalade-voiced and shrieking,
called honey streams of summer afternoons into
cannabis-cradled rooms of Phoebic splendor, where
the blue of his eyes ran ink stains into my pillowcases
when he left for his home across bluer waters, where
the houses smelled like springtime after
birthdays and romantic gestures, where
I slung words into a wattle-colored sketchbook like
Pollock’s spirit had possessed my pen, where
traffic cones gifted us tartan warmth under
eggplant winter skies, where
the starflowers of Billie Holiday’s voice dripped
from the lips of a girl with waratah hair, where
the soft thumping of plums rolling under
kitchen benches echoed contented
whispers of laughter, where
I wanted to remember forever
the way the blinds in his window
pinstriped his skin against the night, how his brow
met my fingertips like communion, where
midnight lovers curled their velvet smiles
around mine, where
jazz cigarettes were smoked in sharehouse sheds
to battle the winter blues, where
blue-tacked gum leaves swirled up bedroom walls and
swung from chandeliers older than the bed’s occupants, where
beer foam painted the sides of poets’ pint glasses, where
a copper-colored kitchen crowded rowdy party-goers into
itself with all the love that had been cooked into
its walls and communal meals, where
I buried a piece of my heart under every
river gum that ever kept a kookaburra laughing, where
modern-day ruby slippers clicked together did
nothing, since
I was already home.

– Arielle Cottingham