States of Poetry 2016 - New South Wales | 'Set Piece' by Fiona Wright

Strange, that there are sequences
              we live as cinema, if I looked
over my shoulder
I might recognise the front wall
of my bedroom
               opened out towards the camera,

my furniture as hollow
as a stage prop. I am
vicarious to myself: strange,

                                         that sometimes
we recognise significance
instead of burning it back in, much later
and imperfectly.
               Some nights I wake up
gasping at the air, I dream
I'm trying, through my sleep
                                      to speak,

              to call your name
from the wet depths of slumber
but I can't will my mouth
to move: if we are unknown

even to our selves
how can we try to hold each other
still? I sit against
            the bedhead, my knees

press against my breasts. Outside
are stars, a car door slamming,
the last train shunting back into the depot.


Fiona Wright


Fiona Wright

Fiona Wright

Fiona Wright is a writer, editor and critic from Sydney. Her poetry collection, Knuckled, won the 2012 Dame Mary Gilmore Award, and her book of essays Small Acts of Disappearance was published by Giramondo in 2015. Her latest book is Domestic Interior (Giramondo, 2017). She has recently completed a PhD at Western Sydney University’s Writing & Society Research Centre.

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.