States of Poetry 2016 - South Australia | 'Oxytocin' by Kate Llewellyn

On this bright morning
a cruel wind is up.
I don't care –
last night I strode among the stars.
Black swan shelter in the sandhills' lee,
while pelicans stand preening
on the lagoon's edge.
We each must share our little pill
of poison – a tattooed drummer,
a drunk, a married man –
while we sit at kitchen tables
drinking tea with other women.
Rain pelts down the windows
while we talk about the promises
they made. It's enough to make
you laugh since it's only down
to chemicals. When oxytocin floods
the brain, fools and dills
and maniacs look irresistible.
I don't care –
last night I strode among the stars
and my brain drank by the gallon
the chemical that makes me think
he's wonderful.
Now I'll need a thousand cups of tea
and tears measured by the litre
to flush the oxytocin from my brain.
Sunsets seem meaningful,
rain is glistening on the neighbour's roof
like tears. The rhapsody of nature
only underwrites that last night
I strode among the stars.


Kate Llewellyn


Kate Llewellyn

Kate Llewellyn

Kate Llewellyn is the author of twenty-four books comprising eight of poetry, five of travel, journals, memoirs, letters and essays. She is the co-editor of The Penguin Book of Australian Women Poets and is the author of the bestseller The Waterlily: A Blue Mountains Journal. Her most recent books are A Fig at the Gate, a book of nature writing and poems, published by Allen & Unwin, and First Things First, a book of her letters edited by Dr Ruth Bacchus and Dr Barbara Hill, published by Wakefield Press.

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