States of Poetry 2016 - New South Wales | 'After Mutability' by Fiona Wright

Perhaps the best cells are the ones we can't kill off,
a persistence of the fittest, although mutation's
always painful. It's two thousand and fourteen,
and I know no-one who has been
uninjured. It thinks in me,
this shadow. I put on sunscreen, and am surprised
to come in contact with my skin.
In the same day, I'm chatted up in a café
by an aspiring novelist who's using boldface
and an ugly font, and the woman I pay
to tear the hair out of my legs offers a discount
because my skinny limbs
won't need much wax. In the same day,
I watch a woman in pink boardshorts
hold out white bread
for a spring-loaded terrier,
an ancient cyclist on City Road with bubble wands
mounted on his handlebars, although they say
this place has gentrified: mutation's
never simple. I dream my top teeth
splinter, turn to chalkdust in my mouth:
so I am in the world's gaping jaw.

 

Fiona Wright

Recording

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.