'pinned' by Chris Arnold | States of Poetry WA - Series Two

excerpt from Ligature

her office           kept cold
she shivers          exhales
but never the satisfaction
of seeing her breath

a red-black plaid blanket wraps
her legs               pattern
reminiscent of red dust picnics –
she’d pick spinifex spears
and snap them against
thumbnails pressed together
stalks shorter and shorter before
they refused her halving –

her rug synthetic             soft
not the wire-like wool
that scratched her legs
through picnic dresses
in this    somewhere     her parents
she guesses – mouths
eyes      hands  closed
– locked postures unfigured,
only stone layered red on red
and green blades

she bends her back
sets weight against
arms on a white workbench.
Eyes focused close,
she slides steel between
eye blue slats
of a dragonfly’s thorax.
sinks pin into paper
and corkboard beneath;

sits straight
exhales again and thinks
this isn’t orthetrum caledonicum –
a holotype filed from light
while hers had paused
in still and cicada song
wings flat on acacia

Chris Arnold