The Return of Venus


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I’ve been craving water
like the fingers of a lover
who is smart enough
to get away –
the kind that can pull me under
and carry me to bed.
Diana take me swimming,
I’ve been making waves;
wrap me up in oyster thief
and bind my hands with bladderwrack,
I want cooling, I need stopping
Diana hold me down.

Water has the strangest flavour
and guilt the strangest taste,
like honeysuckle mixed with nothing
take me to the lake,
where I can feel the eels
pass between my legs.
Where the water
has the filter
of memory on my
skin. Diana take this body,
and leave it pleasure seeking,
among the tigerlilies –
limp and like my love,
suspended in an arch.

Walk me down the snail trail
to the mangrove swaps
and fill my mouth with clay.
Tie me to the loop-root trees,
tie me up with snakes.
Let the kingfishers take my eyes
and a crocodile my breath;
the moss become a second skin,
and a coconut my health.
Diana take me swimming
to the setting sun;
I heard where the leopards bathe,
you glow in the dark.

My hips are willow-witching –
I feel it passing underground
seeping through the rocks.
My bones become
a dowsing rod, my brain a killer whale;
the reeds that blow a siren call
that strips me to my waist.
Diana take me to the stream
and turn my legs to stone,
dress my hair with dragonflies
for the triumph of the newts.
Diana take me wading
way into the blue, wait until my lips
turn numb and the rocks amount my bed;
wait until I’m really scared
then Diana take me home.


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