Saturday Poem

Skin Repair

In summer she kept lances of wild aloe
in the fridge door, cool spears wound
loose in paper towels to sop up the sap.
With the fine point of a filleting knife
she flensed the thorns, then flicked
her wrist to unzip the hunter green skin.

Today we etched her initials in a wedge
before unpeeling it, so it bled up
through her name like succulent graffiti.
Enzymes catalyze the milk to resin.
How she loved the sun, loved being
rinsed by the cymbal crash of hydrogen.

Tonight we will return to the windbitten dune
she sleeps on, supine as a beach bean;
and try again to decipher the glyph, scripted
by the tip of a trailing spinifex seedhead;
and notice the way her cheek seems embossed
on the dune's edge, as though drawn
by another ocean, deep beneath the crust.

by Jaya Savige
from: Surface to Air
University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 2011