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Is There Anything on Me That Doesn't Speak? - text

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Joan of Arc follows me around Australia
I hear her voice in my head
And catch bits of nature in my mouth:
Rotting leaves, bird shit, mud, flood water
I can smell what's there on the inside
Oslo, March: Quiet
Words enter me from everywhere. In Brisbane
In December it was rain, the rain was still rain
We couldn't hide from it. I sought comfort between supermarket shelves and in cafes
But the water followed us everywhere
And we put on the fan in the hotel room
And it sounded like a shower, possessed
My leather shoes crumbled
Fabrics unravelled around our bodies
My skin breathed in and out
I woke in the night to hear our pores heave
I was a thousand little mouths, a thousand baby birds
Eggs hatching, skin breaking
I ran my hands over my body to hush them
I cut my finger nails and cut off their beaks
Is there anything on me that doesn't speak?
One night I spat in my sleep during the daytime
I kept everything in, smoking cigarettes to dry
A struggle, inhaling in your honour
My body is an effigy, a hearth of some kind
I reach for the lighter
Flames rise and press against my lips
When I speak, I hear your voice and catch
Twigs and pieces of coal in my mouth
When I speak I catch your disease

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